Sunday, November 29, 2009

National Ñoqui Day

On the 29th of every month, Argentines traditionally eat ñoquis (gnoccis in English). Why, you ask? Allow me to explain.

There is a LOT of Italian influence in Buenos Aires. Much like the United States, Argentina is a country founded on immigration, and according to Wikipedia about 50% of the immigrants to Buenos Aires came from Italy, bringing their traditions and cuisine along for the ride. This is why pasta and other Italian foods are such a prevalent dish in the city’s many restaurants (and why BA is heaven for this particular carb-fiend). For those who don’t know, ñoquis are a traditional Italian pasta dish, and are delicious. Most often made out of potatoes, ñoquis are little dumplings, soft lumps of pillowy goodness that can be accompanied by any sauce or even just fried butter and parmesan cheese. YUM.

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Here’s the story. In Argentina, people get paid once a month at the beginning of the month, as opposed to every two weeks like in the States. This makes life quite annoying, because by the end of the month no one has any money left and the ATM’s are all empty (advanced budgeting skills are an absolute necessity in this city!) Therefore, at the end of the month when families are tight on money and have to wait until the 1st of the month for their next paycheck, they turn to cheap and filling ñoquis. Makes sense, right? I personally love this tradition, the carboholic that I am, and it’s yet another quirky little fact about Argentina. And who doesn’t love quirky little facts? I’m all about the quirk.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE ñoqui day! I didn't eat them this month since it seemed weird on a Sunday - more a midweek thing? I dunno - but I think the variety of stories/tidbits that surround it are fascinating. Did you know you're supposed to put a 2 peso note under your plate, eat your food, and then spend those 2 pesos on food for good luck? And that deadbeat officials who only come around once a month for their paycheck are called ñoquis after this very tradition? Love it.