National Nachos Day is observed annually on November 6. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips covered in nacho cheese or other melted cheese and served with salsa.
First created sometime around 1943, the popular and loved nachos are of Mexican origin. Nachos can be made quickly and served as a snack, an appetizer or prepared with extra ingredients as a full meal.
It is believed that Ignaci “Nacho” Anaya created the original nachos in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. The story talks of a group of United States military wives stationed at Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass who traveled to Piedras Negras on a shopping trip. Following shopping, they arrived late to a restaurant after it had closed for the day. Maître d, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya served them a snack which he invented from what little was available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, topped them with shredded cheddar cheese and quickly heated them. He then added sliced jalapeno peppers and served them to the ladies. When Anaya was asked what the dish was called, he replied, “Nacho’s especiales”. As the word of this new creation traveled, people tried them, loved them and over time, the name changed and Nacho’s “specials” became “special nachos”.
The original recipe is printed in the 1954 St. Anne’s Cookbook.
- The creator never sought to claim ownership of the dish. His son contacted a lawyer in 1960 to explore the possibility. Unfortunately, too much time had passed, so the recipe was free to the public.
- In Mexico nachos are called ‘totopos’.
- In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips covered in nacho cheese or shredded cheese and salsa.
- Nachos is the food most craved by pregnant women.
- The first known appearance of the word “nachos” in English dates to 1949, from the book A Taste of Texas.
- A school in Kansas holds the record for the largest plate of nachos in the world. The platter weighed a whopping 4,689 pounds. 2,200 of those pounds were nacho cheese alone. Servings of the 80-foot creation were sold to the masses for a dollar each in an effort to raise funds for charity.
- The first U.S. restaurant to feature nachos is reputed to be El Cholo in San Antonio, Texas. The second is supposed to be the now-closed El Cholo in Los Angeles. Of course, these facts are hard to verify, but there they are, for what it’s worth.
- Ballpark nachos rose to fame in the ‘70s when NFL sportscaster Howard Cosell couldn’t stop talking about them.
- But its reputation as a more widely popular snack food really took off in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to Frank Liberto who began selling nachos as stadium fare at Arlington Stadium, which was then home of the Texas Rangers.
- Although they’re known as Mexican restaurant staples, tortilla chips could carry an American culinary passport. An American tortilla factory came up with an ingenious way to get rid of their scraps—they took warped and unsellable tortillas, fried them up, and sold them for ten cents a bag. The company managed to get rid of its surplus and make money doing it.
- Nachos were becoming popular in restaurants in Texas, but as they required an oven to melt the cheese, one man sought to make a more convenient solution. Nacho cheese is liquid goo that can be layered over chips quickly. If you’re wondering what’s in it, the recipe is a well-guarded secret.
- If you turn your nose up at this liquid cheese, you’re not alone—the concoction does not meet the FDA’s standards for real cheese.