I learned to pronounce it in Italian class in 2000. Domenic Vecchi was in that class, lovely Domenic. A shy, skinny, and modest Greek god-looking guy. I stared at him a lot. Vecchi means "old" in Italian; you pronounce the C twice and make a hard C sound, like a K, due to the "ch." VEK-KI. NYOK-KI. Double C. Chi.
On our first night in Florence, we have a long and confusing walk to the restaurant for dinner. Miscommunication and misdirection lead us to a much longer walk than necessary, as well as extreme hunger, which automatically brings about aggravation and short patience in my family. And we've been together for twelve days straight and have four more days together. In order to still like each other and enjoy one another's company in this beautiful city, we're gonna need to eat some food. Some delicious food. Now.
Long story short, we finally get to Buca Mario and I order the gnocchi. Hard C sound. The menu says that it's served with a gorgonzola sauce. That's it. No meat, no vegetables, no side, just a heavy, creamy sauce on top of small dumplings on a plate. That is what I want, so that is what I order. And this is what I receive:
The sauce coats every piece perfectly without being overbearing. And it's rich - so rich. Not overly cheesy, but plenty flavorful. I have no idea what this gnocchi is made of, whether potato, wheat flour, bread, or something else. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I can take one single gnocchi in my mouth and stretch it over my tongue like bubble gum, but softer and savory and more delicious than any stupid piece of gum could ever dream of being. And at the point at which the bubble should inflate, the gnocchi simply melts. This is how I eat each piece.
And I fall in love. With the gnocchi, the waiter, the restaurant, with Florence. In love with all of it.
So, I guess it's easier than I thought. Just catch me while I'm crabby and hungry, then serve me gorgonzola gnocchi, and I'll belong to you forever.
Well, it might help if we're in Florence. But it's probably worth a try.
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