(Photo by paolo.r)
A special tradition involving gnocchi and money is carried out on the 29th of every month. It consists of gathering to eat gnocchi and placing money under ones plate for it to multiply over the following 29 days.
There are two versions of the origin of this odd ritual, neither which have been confirmed.
The first is a legend that dates back to the VIII century. It tells of Pantaleon, a young doctor from Nicosia who traveled to Italy after converting to Christianity. Once there he performed miraculous cures and was canonized. Then, on the 29th of one month, he asked some peasants for bread and they replied by inviting him to join them for a simple dinner. Saint Pantaleon was grateful and moved by their kindness so he blessed them and promised a year of extraordinary harvests. Indeed, that year the yield of their crops was copious and thus on the 29th of every month this patron Saint of Venice was remembered by a simple meal consisting of gnocchi.
Another story, tells of a famished town on a year when wheat had not yielded well. It is said that on the 29th someone came up with the potato gnocchi, saving the town from starvation.
Finally, the tradition is said to have been introduced to Argentina in the 70´s by a group of gastronomic journalists who gathered every month to eat a meal prepared by one of them. On the 29th of the month one of them decided to make a simple plate of gnocchi to commemorate the legend of Pantaleon. It was a big hit and soon after, the “Club del Ñoqui” was created, gathering people from different cultural and social backgrounds for one gnocchi meal a month. Since there were a lot of journalists involved, the tradition quickly spread, and was adopted as an excuse to gather with friends, eat a great plate of gnocchi and hopefully multiply the monetary crop of the month.
Want to try some gnocchi eating and magical money making yourself? Book a table at one of the following recommended Italian restaurants.
Doppio Zero: Open Tue- Sat 8.30pm- closing and Sun 12.30pm-4pm. Soldado de La Independencia 1238, Las Cañitas. 4899-0162
Ill Ballo del Mattone: Gorriti 5737, Palermo. 4776-4247 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sottovoce: Open everyday from 12-4pm and 8pm-closing. Av. Libertador 1098, Recoleta. 4807-6691.