You Can Actually Buy 'Nduja At Some Popular Grocery Stores

Of all the things that Italy has contributed to the global food scene, 'nduja may be one of the tastiest. While it might not have the immediate name recognition of pasta Bolognese or Parmiagiano Reggiano, it's been enjoying a moment in the spotlight lately, showing up on restaurant menus across the country.

So what exactly is 'nduja, and more importantly, how do you pronounce it? 'Nduja (en-doo-ya) is best described as a spreadable sausage, a mixture of pork, pork fat, peppers, and spices that end up tasting similar to a spicy salami. It originates in the southern Italian region of Calabria. While legend has it the name is a reference to French andouille sausage (in the early 1800s, Napoleon's troops went after Calabria and caused an insurrection), the 'nduja of today is undeniably Italian.

Chefs have caught on to the 'nduja craze too. Phillip Krajeck of Nashville's Rolf & Daughters restaurant told the Wall Street Journal that he likes to mix 'nduja with butter and put it on roasted sweet potatoes. At Durham, NC's Mother & Sons, Chef Josh DeCarolis has an 'nduja and gardiniera pickles bruschetta on the menu.

If the idea of a spicy, spreadable sausage sounds good to you, you're in luck, because you don't have to be a chef or travel to Italy to get your hands on 'nduja anymore. Finding some might be as easy as visiting a nearby store.

Where to find 'nduja

Before you jump in the car and race down to your local supermarket, it's important to know what to look for first. As with anything that gets popular, 'nduja has some knockoffs. According to Serious Eats, good 'nduja should only have pork, salt, Calabrian chilies, and lactic acid (a preservative required in America by the FDA). Read labels carefully to ensure that you're getting the real thing.

Italian specialty shops and high-end grocery stores like Eataly are likely to stock imported 'nduja. Trader Joe's has a version (labeled as Spicy Salami Spread) with added tomato paste that is pretty close to the real thing. Whole Foods carries La Quercia brand 'nduja, also labeled as Spicy Prosciutto Spread. La Quercia can also sometimes be found at Wal-Mart. Kroger often has a version from Schaller & Weber, and World Market carries a homegrown version of 'nduja made with Berkshire Pork raised right here in America.

Of course 'nduja can always be found at online retailers, from Amazon to specialty Italian sites like Gusto Grocery. Just be forewarned — once you start keeping 'nudja on hand it's likely you'll never want to be without it. Dollop it atop homemade pizza, or mix it into a dish like this recipe for spicy sausage and ricotta pasta. Spread it on a cracker or, heck, just sneak a spoonful straight from the fridge. No matter how you enjoy it, you'll agree that 'nudja's burgeoning popularity is a very, very good thing.