History of Gnocchi
How to make Gnocchi |
History of World Cuisines
The Italian word gnocchi
translates to lumps, but it is thought the name may have come from the
word nocchio which means a knot in the wood or possibly from nocca which
means knuckle. It should be noted that the word gnocchi is plural and refers to several gnocco (singular) however, the singular word is hardly ever used and the word
gnocchi is often used in the singular.
Origin of Gnocchi
The original recipe is thought to
have originated in the Middle East and although no-one can be sure when Italian
gnocchi were first made, the earliest written
mentions appear in 14th century Italian cookery manuscripts.
Gnocchi became a staple dish in
Italy and was gradually introduced
by the Romans to other countries in Europe during their many conquests and over
time, many countries developed their own type of small dumplings from the
earliest gnocchi recipes.
However, it didn’t stop there.
Gnocchi was introduced to South America by Italian immigrants during the early
20th Century and quickly became integrated into many South American
cuisines including in Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela and most notably in
Argentina where today the 29th of every month has been designated
Dia de Ñoquis
Day). The 29th was chosen because it was usually the last day
before pay day so many people had run out of money. Gnocchi was the perfect meal
as not only was it cheap but it was also filling. It is customary to place a
coin under the plate whilst eating to encourage prosperity.
Similarly, Italian migration to
North America saw an increase in Italian restaurants, many of which would have
had a favoured gnocchi recipe on the menu.