Saturday, July 28, 2012

the night before noquis

Gnocchis are one of the many contributions of Italian immigrants to Argentine cuisine. Gnocchis, which morphed into ñoquis are a small flour and vegetable pasta, traditionally made using potatoes.
In Argentina, the 29th of every month is celebrated by eating ñoquis--something that's not done in other South American countries. This custom was solidified via local amas de casa (housewives) who had run out of funds by the end of the month, so they scraped up a meal with only the cheapest of ingredients: water, flour and potatoes.
Although the tradition was initiated by people with low incomes, the rest of the population, including people from all backgrounds, were soon seduced by the idea and began to eat ñoquis on the 29th, initiating what is now called Noquis del 29.
(Interestingly, the word ñoquis has been twisted by Argentine slang and is also used for a government employee who doesn’t do any work but turns up at the end of the month, around the 29th actually, to pick up his pay check.)
Some consider ñoquis to be their "comfort food.'' People crave ñoquis when it's cold and dreary out, when they're sick, lovesick or just plain sad. Homemade macaroni and cheese is the comfort food in my family, but I can imagine ñoquis and a cheese sauce filling in.
Argentina 594

Noquis come in many varieties, but there are three fairly common types of ñoquis: potato, spinach and squash. 

You can buy noquis in the grocery stores.
29Noquis  There are also fresh pasta shops in most cities, and on the 29th it is common to see a line of people extending out the door of those delis to purchase ñoquis. Of course, many Argentines eat ñoquis at their local restaurants. There you will often find a chalkboard with several ñoqui specialties that are available for the day.
In any scenario, family and/or friends gather together to share time and a meal. Typically, money is placed under your plate to attract good fortune. Sometimes the coins are all given to the person who most needs them round the table, or are saved for the following ñoquis del 29. However, some believe that if you don't make the ñoquis yourself, you don't have such good luck. I have also heard that you have to eat at least 29 ñoquis, which fortunately is not difficult.
The answer to the question, “Does everyone in Argentina know how to make ñoquis ?” is pretty much, "¡Si!" Most of the Argentines have been making ñoquis since they were little, stating "That's the first thing you learn to make."
Children start by learning to shape the ñoquis, either by flicking the dumplings off the tines of a fork or using a ñoquera, a small wooden block with grooves that gives the nuggets the traditional indented form. The ridges help the sauce cling. hugegnocchiboard__04234_zoomImg_0052__04590_zoom
After the ñoquis are made, you just dump them into a pot of boiling water to cook for a minute or two. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
The first time we went to a restaurant and ordered ñoquis on the 29th, I had to put some money under my plate to comply with the tradition. When Presidente asked me what in the world I was doing, I explained this all to him.
My own homemade ñoquis were ridge-less, but I think I’ll look around for one of those boards. I have talked to a lot of missionaries that have learned how to make ñoquis, and actually, quite a few that have never heard of the tradition, as well.
Ñoquis de papas (Potato Noquis)
1 potato for each person
about 1/3 cup of flour for each potato
salt (to taste)
egg, optional
1. Cook the potatoes
2. Mash the potatoes, add salt to taste
3. Add the flour (make a flour mound the size of your mashed potatoes)                 I also added an egg
4. Mix it till you have a soft texture (as if you were making dinner rolls)
5. Move the mixture to a flour covered table
6. Cut the mixture into small strips (more or less the size of a carrot) and roll it into a log the about the thickness of a marking pen
7. Cut the strips into small squares
8. (Optional) Run a fork along the outside of each square to add design
9. Let them dry for a few minutes, keeping the squares separated so they don’t stick. At this point you can also dust them with flour and put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat.
10. Boil water with salt. Carefully add the ñoquis to the boiling water.
11. Cook them for about a minute.
Serve with your favorite salsa.
Los gnocchis son algunos de los contribuciones de los Italianos inmigrantes a la comida Argentina. Los gnocchis, que cambio a noquis eran una pequeña pasta de harina y verduras, tradicionalmente hecha con papas.

En Argentina, el 29 de cada mes es celebrado comiendo noquis...algo que no es hecho en otros países de America de Sur. Esta costumbre paso por medio de amas de casa quienes no tuvieron dinero el fin del mes entonces hicieron comida con ingredientes baratas común... agua, harina y papas.

Aunque la tradición empieza con gente sin mucho dinero, toda la gente, incluso gente de cada ambiente estaban enamorada con la idea y empezaron a comer noquis el 29 empezaron a llamarlos Noquis del 29.

Hay algo divertido que la palabra noquis también es una palabra coloquial para alguien que trabaja para el gobierno pero nunca hace nada pero el fin del mes, el 29 igual, llega a buscar su dinero.

Para algunos los noquis son su comida favorita. La gente quiere noquis cuando hace frío o un día feo, cuando ellos están enfermos, cuando ellos están melancólicos o tal vez solamente tristes.

Macaronis y queso hacho a mano para mi familia es la comida favorita pero yo puedo imaginar noquis con queso.
Los noquis viene en muchas variedades pero hay tres muy comunes...papas, espinaca y calabaza.

Puede comprar noquis en los supermercados. hay tiendas de pastas frescas en la mayoría de las ciudades y el 29 es común de ver una fila de gente afuera la puerta que quiere comprar noquis. Por supuesto muchos Argentinos comen noquis en sus restaurantes locales. Puede encontrar un pizarrón con sus especialidades de noquis que están disponible ese día. En cada escenario la familia y/o amigos se reúnen juntos a compartir sus momentos y comidas.

Normalmente, ponen dinero abajo de los platos para traer buena suerte. Algunas veces el dinero se da a la persona que tiene mas necesidad o si no, puede esperar al Noquis de 29 que sigue. Sin embargo algunos creen que no va a tener suerte si sus noquis no son caseros. Escuche que necesita comer por lo menos 29 noquis tambien, pero no es difícil.

La respuesta a la pregunta, Cada persona en Argentina sabe como hacer noquis, es Si! La mayoría de ellos han estado haciendo noquis desde sus días de chocos. Ellos dicen es la primera comida que aprendí a cocinar.

Los ninos empiezan a hacer el diseño con un tenedor o usando una noquera, que es una bloque de madera con rayas que hace el diseño típico. Las rayas ayuda a que la salsa se pegue.

Después de hacerlos, los ponen en un cacerola de agua hirviendo por un minuto, tal vez dos, hasta que floten. Después sacarlos con una cuchara espumadera.

La primera vez que fuimos al restaurante y fue el 29, tuve que poner dinero abajo de mi plato para cumplir la tradiccion. Cuando el Presidente me pregunto, Que esta haciendo, le explique todo a el.

Mis propios noquis caseros no tuvieron rayas pero pienso que voy a buscar algunas de estas noqueras. He hablado con un montón  de misioneros que ya saben como hacer noquis y realmente muchas también que nunca han escuchado de esta tradición tampoco.

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