‘Nduja Festival – Spilinga
August 8th, 2023: feast in honor of the spicy spreadable sausage of Calabria
On August 8th, 2023 the village of Spilinga, in the province of Vibo Valentia, hosts the ‘Nduja Festival, a spreadable sausage made of fat pork and (very) hot chilli pepper, with its beautiful bright red and almost “warns” of its abundant presence.
The ‘Nduja festival, which reached its 47th edition, has become a traditional appointment in August as a food, folkloristic and cultural event. And it is also the longest-running festival in Calabria, it dates back to 1975!
Thanks to ‘Nduja, Spilinga has become famous in Italy and around the world and the festival attracts many tourists every year who stay around Tropea and Capo Vaticano.
The stands are located in Piazza 11 Settembre and offer dishes that can be prepared with ‘nduja, such as chops, bruschetta, meatballs, sandwiches, vegetables, beans, spaghetti and much more. The compelling and stinging scent of ‘nduja makes is perceived everywhere. If you love spicy food, this is just for you!
Not only food. During the festival there are also artists and jugglers, musical bands and folk groups, and the famous giants Mata and Grifone (see below) who dance in the streets, and the bamboo donkey that lights up in the square and shoots fireworks.
MATA AND GRIFONE
Mata and Grifone are two tall and majestic papier-maché puppets who are carried on their shoulders while dancing through the streets of many cities in Calabria and Sicily on the occasion of Catholic patronal holidays or other events.
The legend says that the dark-haired Grifone fell in love with Mata, but that neither Mata nor his father wanted the wedding. Then Grifone converted to Catholicism and settled in Calabria to cultivate the land and so he win her over and married her. Since then, the two giants have represented freedom from Saracen domination.
SOME MORE INFO ABOUT ‘NDUJA
‘Nduja is a soft, almost creamy cured meat, a typical and poor food of Calabria, made using pig waste. Its consistency is quite unique for cured meat, which makes it suitable for many different preparations.
In some cases, the ‘nduja is lightly smoked by burning black locust or olive essences and is then aged in a cool and dry place for a period of 3 to 6 months, depending on the size.
The important presence of hot pepper, with its well-known antiseptic and antioxidant properties, means that this sausage does not need preservatives and it seems that it benefits the well-being of the intestine.
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