The best gnocchi in the world is, of course, from Italy. The best gnocchi in the world is made by the loving hands of gentle Jennie, the co-proprietor (along with slow-moving but fast-thinking Beppe) of a very remote mountain retreat in the Cottian Alps.
The best gnocchi in the world is served in large dishes to be shared by everyone, only intensifying the desire for more when someone else reaches for another serving.
The best gnocchi in the world is what you imagined on the summit of the Colle Fauniera, aka Colle dei Morti, after riding through the biting wind and freezing fog, past the Pantani statue that resembles Gollum more than Il Pirata himself.
The best gnocchi has been curated and handed down over three generations of cooks, perfected by granny when she was a wedding chef feeding hungry guests at three day Piedmontese weddings in the late 1930s and early 40s.
The best gnocchi in the world is baked with Nostrale cheese from the cows that performed for us with their huge bells on the Canosio grazing areas, the same cows that blocked two of the three mountain roads each time we try to climb the valleys that branch off from Ponte Marmora.
The best gnocchi in the world is accompanied by a bottle of the finest Barolo followed, on Beppe’s advice, by a better bottle of Barbesca (and maybe one more for luck).
The best gnocchi in the world is shared with old friends and served by new friends in a mountain retreat that momentarily mutes the volume on modern life.
The best gnocchi in the world is found at Locanda della Elfi in Preit, a small hamlet tucked between the peaks of the Maira valley, where the road rises up to Col de Preit and where adventuring cyclists can go deeper to find Little Peru with its gravel roads below Rocca la Meja linking this mountain range to the border and onwards to the Mediterranean.
Read more about the perfect soul food for cycling in our the best of series.