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Gnocchi Day (Argentina)

Gnocchi Day is a beloved tradition in Argentina, celebrated on the 29th of every month. This tradition, which originated from Italian immigrants who arrived in Argentina in the 19th century, involves families and friends gathering to enjoy a meal of gnocchi, or ñoquis.

The tradition has two popular versions of its origin. One version is associated with Saint Pantaleo, an Italian saint who was canonized on the 29th and was known for his miraculous deeds. The other version is more pragmatic: the 29th of the month was just before payday, so by the end of the month, money was tight. Gnocchi, made from inexpensive ingredients like potatoes and flour, was a filling and affordable meal.

On this day, it’s common for Argentinians to place money under their plates while eating gnocchi, symbolizing a wish for prosperity in the coming month. Some people keep the money for luck, while others donate it to charity.

Gnocchi in Argentina is typically made from potatoes, but in regions where potatoes are scarce, alternatives like yuca (also known as mandioca or cassava) are used1. The gnocchi is often served with a simple tomato sauce.

This tradition is so ingrained in Argentine culture that many restaurants and businesses offer special gnocchi dishes on the 29th. So, whether you’re in Buenos Aires or a small town in the Misiones Province, you’re likely to find a place serving up delicious gnocchi on this day.

In essence, Gnocchi Day is not just about the food; it’s a day for Argentinians to come together with family and friends, to share a meal, and to invite good fortune into their lives.

How to Observe Gnocchi Day (Argentina)

  • Make Your Own Gnocchi: Gather your family or friends and make gnocchi from scratch. It’s a fun and interactive way to celebrate the day. You can use traditional ingredients like potatoes, or try alternatives like yuca if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • Place Money Under Your Plate: As per the tradition, place a coin or note under your plate while eating gnocchi. This is done to invite prosperity for the coming month. You can keep the money for luck or donate it to charity.
  • Try Different Sauces: While gnocchi is traditionally served with a simple tomato sauce in Argentina, you can experiment with different sauces. Pesto, cheese, and cream-based sauces can all complement the gnocchi well.
  • Visit a Local Restaurant: If cooking isn’t your thing, visit a local restaurant. Many places in Argentina offer special gnocchi dishes on the 29th.
  • Share the Tradition: Share this unique tradition with others. Invite friends over for a gnocchi meal or share the story of Gnocchi Day on social media.

Remember, Gnocchi Day is about more than just the food. It’s a day to come together with loved ones, share a meal, and invite good fortune into your lives. Enjoy your celebration!

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