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The ‘Nduja of Spilinga
We will leave Tropea for a moment and move to Spilinga, a small village in the province of Vibo Valentia that is famous for the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Fontana.
Sources say that, in the early years of the twentieth century, a certain Domenica Muià had premonition dreams: they invited her to go to a cave not far from the urban centre of Spilinga. Once she arrived at the place that she had already visited in a dream, the lady is said to have found the statue of the Madonna, the same one that can be admired today and that, over time, has drawn a large influx of pilgrims and led to the construction of a small church nearby.
After this little introduction, let’s talk about ‘nduja di Spilinga.
Probably arising in the early nineteenth century, it owes its conception to the arrival of some Napoleonic troops in Calabria. The word ‘nduja, in fact, seems to derive from the French word ‘andouille’, a name linked to a sausage made from offal.
It is interesting to note that both terms can be traced back to the Latin word ‘inductilia’, “things to introduce”, in reference to the practice of bagging this type of food. Other versions suggest that it was Gioacchino Murat (king of Naples, about whom we already told you here – link to historical itinerary -) who introduced it to the Calabrians.
What is certain is that it was precisely the Italians who added generous doses of chilli, making it a unique and typical product of the boot.