Nachos. Everyone has heard of them, and most everyone has probably tried them. But have you ever wondered how they were created, or when they really come from?
What Are Nachos?
A nacho is much more than the cheesy-flavor that coats those tortilla chips in the red bag. Nachos can be made about a hundred different ways, but the basic plate of nachos contains tortilla chips that are covered in melted cheese. Some prefer grated cheese that is then melted, while others prefer the cheese-in-a-jar sauce poured over the chips. Some like meats, beans, peppers, or sour cream added to their dish, while purists stick to the basics.
No matter how you eat your nachos, you can trace the roots back to the original chip-and-cheese form that got its start in 1943.
The Origin Story Of The Nacho
There are origin stories for just about everything, and many are tricky to prove; people still have conflicting stories about where the hamburger first got fried. The nacho, however, is pretty cut and dry.
In 1943, a group of U.S. military wives, whose husbands were stationed at the military base in Fort Duncan, Texas, had spent the day shopping in nearby Eagle Pass, Mexico. At the end of the day, the group decided to stop for dinner, but all of the local restaurants were closed. They happened upon the old Victory Club in Piedras Negras, and that’s where Chef Ignacio Anaya made history. Taking pity on the hungry women, Ignacio went to the kitchen and put together a plate of whatever he had left over from the day.
He cut some tortillas into triangles and fried them. He then covered them with shredded cheese and put the concoction into the oven for a few minutes. Before serving, he added sliced jalapeños on top, and a dish was born. What he served to the military wives that day was the first plate of nachos, which Ignacio named after his own nickname.
The Proof Is In The Cookbook
The recipe for nachos was later recorded in a cookbook written by members of the Eagle Pass church. It confirms the dish, the Victory Club, and Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya himself as the creator. From there, the dish took off.
In 1976, a new version of nachos called “ballpark nachos” was introduced during a Texas Rangers baseball game at Arlington Stadium in Texas. Ballpark nachos are tortilla chips with cheese sauce, and can be found today in sports stadiums, movie theaters, and concert venues far and wide.
Spice Up Your Game Day Staple
From the playoffs to the Super Bowl, Nachos are an important staple on “game day” in many homes. Planning on a nacho bar for your next event? Try Sole Soups Chili on top for an exciting kick! Just drizzle over corn chips before you bake them in the oven with your favorite grated cheese! So delicious, you’ll thank Ignacio Anya for his world-famous creation and smile.