Italian gnocchi

Italian gnocchi. History and curiosities

“Giovedì gnocchi, venerdì pesce, sabato trippa” – Thursday gnocchi (italian gnocchi), Friday fish, Saturday tripe

This expression was used by the Roman population to mark a sort of food calendar of the week. It is a popular proverb that is typically Roman but adopted throughout Italy. Its origins date back to the second half of the 19th century.

Since it was very difficult to find the most elaborate products, many families were forced to adopt a series of small rules that allowed food to be rationed to avoid waste.

Italian gnocchi are a very nutritious dish with a very simple recipe. Initially they were prepared only with boiling water and various cereal flour, to which potatoes were added only later on, having spread in Italy since 1600. To dress them the matter was as simple: homemade tomato sauce. All these elements were very easy to find, had very low costs and, above all, could be grown directly by family members (especially potatoes and tomatoes).

But why the Italian gnocchi?

Potatoes and flour are rich in sugar and carbohydrates and are therefore very important energy sources. Moreover, the Catholic tradition, very widespread at that time, required, as a sign of respect for the crucifixion of Jesus (which took place on Good Friday), not to eat meat on Fridays, but only fish and legumes (usually chickpeas and cod), dishes that were just as good, but definitely leaner.

Since the latter dishes were also low in calories, there was a need to find something more substantial and caloric both for the day before and the day after: gnocchi and tripe, a low-quality cut, avoided by the more affluent families but very nutritious and tasty.

In more recent times this tradition has been somewhat lost in Italian homes, since, especially for those who work, it has become increasingly difficult to prepare this dish which, although simple, takes quite a long time.

Many Italian restaurants have remained strongly attached to this costume. We too, in our small way, wanted to bring with us a small part of tradition; in fact, in our menu we decided to introduce this precious element in some of its more classic variants: Italian gnocchi “alla sorrentina” (tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese), with sausage and porcini mushrooms and much more that you can find in our menu!