The Story of Gnocchi Day in Argentina

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It's Gnocchi Day in Argentina again (on the 29t)!It is approaching the end of the month, you are hungry, and you find yourself looking for a delicious alternative to the asado. Look at your calendar. Is it the 29th? If so, you are in luck! It is the official Gnocchi Day in Argentina.

You may be asking yourself what gnocchi even is. It is not a typical part of the North American cuisine but can be found in some restaurants. Look on the menu of any Italian restaurant and you are bound to find these amazing little potato dumplings that are turned into a pasta. The Europeans brought many of their influences to Argentina and one of their great contributions was the gnocchi. Apparently Argentineans were pretty impressed with this food because it not only received its own day of the year, it received its own 12 days of the year. The 29th of every month is Gnocchi Day, (or as the Argentineans call it “ñoquis del 29”), and the restaurants prepare for the crowds that spill through the doors.

A delicious plate of Argentine Gnocchis.I was a little surprised myself when I first heard about the random holiday and I was skeptical as to whether my source was telling the truth or just trying to get me to make a fool of myself at our restaurant our choice that night – El Boliche de Alberto. The town of Bariloche has a few different restaurants in town known as ‘El Boliche.’ There is the original that was so popular within its first years of business that the high demand eventually lead to the construction of a second, equally as tasty location. Then the owners had a genius idea to open another right along Elflein Ave to specialize in home-made pasta. This was our destination for the 29th evening of this particular month.

To clear up any doubts I had, I began by asking if they were celebrating Gnocchi Day and was promptly given my answer with a cozy table, wine list, and a special menu of the wide range of gnocchi and sauces to accompany them. The small doughy balls are typically made of potato but at this restaurant they were also offered in spinach, sweet potato, and pumpkin flavors. Common sauces were available as well as some of the specialties of El Boliche and there were even stuffed gnocchi to add a little spin on the traditional dish. There is no better way to celebrate our first Gnocchi Day than with a little bit of everything, so between the four of us we filled our table with different varieties of both the pasta and the sauces.

The actual gnocchis, made from potato flour.As with many cultural traditions in Argentina there was an underlying story to go along with it. Our waiter educated us on the background and tradition of this day while we waited on our food. The 29th was selected because it was typically the day when people were the poorest, the day before payday. Gnocchi was a cheap, yet filling meal that they enjoyed with hopes of attracting prosperity. To do so they placed a one peso coin under their plates while eating. Superstitious or not it was worth a try for the fun and tradition so we each dug into our pockets to find a peso and stuck it under our dishes as well. Our whole meal was eaten in this fashion and the food was delicious.

The history of the gnocchi in Argentina is great but the amazing taste of the gnocchi is reason enough to give this meal 12 of its own days out of every year. I celebrated this day on numerous occasions when the 29th rolled around, and on many others when my taste buds were just calling out to a tasty meal.


[…] it. Argentina seems to feel the same way, as the country designated the 29th day of each month as Gnocchi Day. And, as luck would have it, we will be in Argentina on the 29th of November, so I plan on […]

[…] the 29th we celebrated Gnocchi Day, an Argentinian tradition. You can get more info here: Amanda put her new discount cookware to use so we could all stuff our faces with […]

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