SF: Boccalone’s Nduja

July 16th, 2010

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While in San Francisco, I always try to swing by Boccalone in the Ferry Building. A couple years back, Chris Cosentino, the offal-loving chef of Incanto, opened up this Italian charcuterie shop selling all sorts of interesting salumi including ‘fennel-orange’ and this, nduja.
Pronounced, end-oo-ya, this spicy sausage evoked a bit of mystery last year when the NY Times wrote up a piece about it calling it “The Lady Gaga of pork products.” So, yeah, that’s a little stupid, but I had to taste it anyway.
Take a look under the wraps after the jump.

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Nduja is softer than you’d expect. The casing is more of a container than anything else. To enjoy it, you’d pretty much have to split it open to get at the goodness. At room temperature, it’s a spreadable meat paste, like a pate, but with a chunkier texture. It’s wonderful on bread, but I chose to cook the two sausages I brought home.
That was a questionable decision. It certainly added its delicious smoky, spicy flavor to both the eggs and the tomato sauce I cooked them in, but the meat itself disappeared, melting away into rest of the dish. It was enjoyable, but now I wish I had gotten just one more so I could have spread it on some nice Italian bread.

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