Celebrate Argentina?s National Gnocchi Day

Celebrate Argentina?s National Gnocchi Day
Argentinian Area

Partake in this celebration and you?ll understand the Argentine expression: ?A full belly means a happy heart?.

Argentine culture has been greatly influenced by Italy, the result of early immigrations to this New World nation, from Sicily, Fruiti and Genoa. Some people even jokingly characterize Argentineans as “Italians who happen to speak Spanish”. You’ll note Italian influences everywhere; politics, religion, education, fashion, language, and definitely, FOOD! 
Prepare for a rich selection of gastronomic treats, combining both Spanish and Italian roots with a heavy dose of Argentina’s own local flavors and styles. While an Argentine Asado is not to be missed, you’ll also want to try the pizzas, pastas and Milanesas.  (Milanesas are a popular treat  consisting of thinly sliced cutlets, dipped in egg and Italian bread crumbs and then sautéed or baked and served as a sandwich or main dish.  In Patagonia, you’ll find them in many varieties, including beef, chicken, fish, cheese and even, guanaco!) 
One of the most popular Argentine dishes is gnocchi, which is a homemade pasta typically made from potatoes. You’ll encounter plenty of creativity though; gnocchi can also be made from ricotta, spinach, sweet potato, pumpkin, and all kinds of other flavors! Almost every restaurant in Argentina features some form of gnocchi on their menu and you can find pre-prepared versions in most food stores. 
Gnocchi are so popular in Argentina, there’s even a monthly holiday dedicated to their enjoyment.  On the 29th day of every month National Gnocchi Day is celebrated. (Yep, that’s right, one day a year just wasn’t enough. Argentineans needed eleven days each year dedicated to GNOCCHI!!! Why eleven and not twelve?  Think about it.) 
In fact, the 29th was strategically selected. Typically the 29th is the “poorest” day of the month for Argentine households; the last day before payday; which, only comes once a month. Gnocchi, being inexpensive but hearty, was the perfect answer to maintain “bellies full and hearts happy”. There’s more! Traditionally, when eating gnocchi on National Gnocchi Day, one peso is placed underneath the dish as a good luck charm. In return for the luck this gesture brings to the eater, the peso is left for the hostess to pay for the gnocchi ingredients for the following month. 
Regardless of your superstitious beliefs or the day of the month, we encourage you to enjoy a delicious plate of gnocchi during your travels. Almost all of the restaurants in Argentina, and most in Chile, serve gnocchi.  You can also find freshly prepared gnocchi in many supermarkets along the route!  And keep in mind, Gnocchi is easy and fun to make; even in the back country.

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