Nduja: The Complete Guide to This Wonderful Paste

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The Complete Guide to ‘Nduja

Nduja Paste in a jar

With their unique cooking abilities and creative recipes, Italians have contributed a ton to make this world a tastier place. And they still sit high on the throne today as the food hub of the world. One of their delicate creations is ‘Nduja.

Due to its humble roots, ‘Nduja remained popular among people for lower classes. But now its demand is off the charts. What started as a poor man’s dinner is a luxury add-on for our daily meals and is on-demand in most places.

In the modern era, specialized cooks have tweaked the original recipe to fit the hygienic standards and added even more taste. So obviously, the new ‘Nduja tastes a lot different than the original one.

We have dedicated this guide for anyone who wants the necessary details accompanying the manufacturing process, benefits, and uses of ‘Nduja. Read on to find more.

What is ‘Nduja?

Nduja paste

Back in the 1800s, Italian farmers who raised pigs would sell the higher quality meat to the rich and keep the lower quality meat for their consumption. They would harvest organs and meat trimmings to blend them with seasoning. Later the mixture was left to dry and ferment to bring out the best taste.

‘Nduja is a spreadable salami with a high concentration of chilli spices which act as a meat preserver. That is why ‘Nduja paste can stay good in your fridge for months. But I doubt the bottle would ever survive for that long as it’s delicious with everything. Whether it be a baked good or your regular meals, add this soft pork salami to it to improve its taste.

Unlike soppressata, which consists of three-part lean muscle and one-part fat, ‘Nduja is the complete opposite. It has three-part fat and one-part skeletal muscle that allows it to keep its creamier, spreadable texture.

Why Should You Use it?

So there are many reasons as to why you should incorporate another jar in your kitchen, but the one that takes the best is its taste.

It’s delicious! 

And the cherry on top, it goes with basically everything. It’s like having magical spices that could enhance the flavour of any recipe. Put it on a sandwich with some Italian cheese, add it to your daily foods, or spoon it straight out the jar; it is scrumptious.

‘Nduja has a soft, creamy texture, and it melts into any food once subjected to heat. It could be purposeful in seasoning, and you can also use it as toppings for food such as pizza and pasta. And since it’s cured meat, you do not need to cook it for consumption. It’s safe to eat it right out of the packaging.

You don’t need to prep it or plan to add it to your meals. Instead, it comes in ready-to-use packaging with no need to add anything extra.

3 Health Benefits of ‘Nduja:

We are now aware of “what is ‘Nduja paste” and what it does. But are there any benefits to it? Or is it an unnecessary addition to your expenses? Let’s find out:

Source of Protein

As it is a cured meat product, this spreadable salami is a source of protein for people who can’t get themselves to fulfil their daily quota. If you’re a regular gym person, adding ‘Nduja to your diet can be incredibly beneficial.

Selenium and Vitamin B

‘Nduja is rich in selenium and Vitamin B. Selenium, as we know, is an essential mineral for our body that regulates metabolism and acts as a powerful antioxidant. And Vitamin B is a well-known compound that helps the growth of red blood cells.

Capsaicin

The high-pepper content in ‘Nduja is not just there to preserve the meat, but it also brings a series of health benefits for the consumer. For example, capsaicin in red peppers is known for its anti-inflammation properties that could reduce the risk of heart disease. They can also be an excellent stimulant for weight loss for motivated people.

Additionally, some people would argue that the spicy nature of this edible makes you more energetic after consuming it. It can raise your body temperature to make you feel alive.

How is it made?

Nduja paste with pizza

Now comes the question of how exactly this deliciousness is encapsulated within such a simple product?

As we mentioned, making ‘Nduja has evolved over the years, and now many practices are in effect. Some techniques yield better outcomes, while others intend to save money by cutting off some ingredients to make their business more profitable.

We will show you the process of making high-quality ‘Nduja that will allow you to judge the various brands by yourself.Here is a step by step process:

  • First, put the meat through a grinding process so the pieces of belly fat, legs, and jowl mix together well.
  • Then, season the ground meat with salt and chili peppers.
  • Stuff the product inside intestine bags and hang them in a moisture-controlled environment. This step helps in the fermentation process and adds the sourness that makes ‘Nduja unique from other salumi.
  • Let the meat ferment for 12-36 hours. This time is dependent on how long it takes for the meat to reach the required acidity level for shelf stability.
  • After fermentation is done, move the meat to a chamber with a colder temperature and let it hang for 4-6 months (depending on the size).

Where can you buy ‘Nduja?

If you’re convinced of ‘Nduja’s charm and are looking to purchase one for a first try out, Amazon has a great variety ‘Nduja products in multiple sizes and qualities.

You can do a quick Amazon search to get your hands on different choices to pick from for your daily intake.

Once you select one of your preferences, add it to your cart and get it delivered straight to the comfort of your home.

You can also quickly search “’Nduja paste where to buy” on google to get information on all the stores near you that excel at this craft.

However, make sure you are purchasing a quality product from a reputable manufacturer. Many ‘Nduja business owners use cheap chill peppers in the preparation process that significantly affects the finished product’s quality. Be wary of such brands and research thoroughly for a satisfying purchase.

Cooking Methods For 'Nduja

Cooking is where ‘Nduja is the versatility king. You can make it work well with any of your beloved dishes. It is similar to a richer version of a sauce like ketchup or salsa, which you can use in various foods as per your requirements. 

Here are some of the ways you can eat ‘Nduja:

Pizza with Nudja

Spread it on a toast

One of the simplest ways of using ‘Nduja in your diet is by spreading it over a toast to begin your morning routine. It won’t take much time because the meat is soft and evenly spreads over the slices of bread. You can also add it to your burgers, sandwiches, and rolls to enhance their tastefulness.

Use it as a seasoning product

You can season your meat with ‘Nduja as it has the required spicy content to bring the taste to the seasoned product. ‘Nduja seasoned meat will have a touch of sourness, making it unique for food lovers.

Mix it with regular meals

As we mentioned, ‘Nduja sauce goes with almost everything. Use it as a sauce or an add-on in your meals. Drop a piece in a hot frying pan, and it’ll dissolve immediately with other components.

nduja recipe

Storage Methods

Since there are so many ways ‘Nduja can incorporate itself into our daily meals, you might need to buy more than one container. But how do you store it safely? Does it lose its taste with time? Here are a few things you can do to ensure the longevity of the product.

Freeze it

One of the simple methods of storing ‘Nduja while preserving its quality is slicing it up and storing it in your freezer. You can then defrost it every time you need to use it. Due to the high content of fat, ‘Nduja can resist the harshness of cold and stay good for longer.

This method is reasonably practical if you’re saving the meat for the long term or are running short of fridge space.

Refrigerate it

A more straightforward method is just putting it straight in the fridge (given your fridge has unoccupied space). ‘Nduja can stay fresh in the refrigerator for months, and you can enjoy the same taste as the day you bought it.

Seal it

Lastly, when a fat-rich product like ‘Nduja is exposed to the air, it gets oxidized, resulting in staleness and loss of original taste. So it is always a good idea to store your meat spread in a tightly sealed container not to let air touch the product. If the top layer has changed colour due to oxidization, scrap that layer and use the excellent meat inside.

Conclusion

That’s all for this article, folks! We hope we answered most of your questions and you’re ready to spice up your life with ‘Nduja paste.

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Andy Canter

Andy

Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!