It’s nacho fault if you’re craving Mexican food today. November 6 is National Nachos Day!
Unlike many of the foods we have celebrated, there is no confusion over who invented nachos. That honor goes to Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, a restaurateur in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1943, a group of soldier’s wives on a shopping trip across the border entered Anaya’s restaurant, El Moderno, after it had closed for the day. Pissed that he hadn’t yet locked the door, Anaya was nevertheless gracious to his gringo guests, and put together a snack with the few ingredients he still had left in his kitchen: tortillas, which he cut into triangles, and shredded cheddar cheese. He heated them up until the cheese melted, added sliced jalapenos, and served them to the grateful group. One of the women nicknamed the dish “Nacho’s Especiales.” They raved over it, and word spread throughout Texas and the Southwest. Over time the apostrophe was dropped, and “Nacho’s Specials” became “special nachos” and then, simply, nachos. Anaya died in 1975 and a plaque was erected in Piedras Negras. El Moderno still serves Anaya’s original nachos to this day. Arlington Stadium in Texas began serving a modified version of nachos with a prepared cheese sauce in 1976, and broadcaster Howard Cosell further popularized them by mentioning the dish frequently in his football telecasts over the next few weeks. Nowadays, nachos can be as simple as Anaya’s original snack, or complex and loaded with a variety of toppings including meats, beans, vegetables, salsa, and sour cream.
To celebrate, we made nachos-for-dinner. As opposed to nachos-for-an-appetizer. We used seasoned ground turkey, pinto beans, cheese, onions, black olives, jalapeno slices, and sour cream. The result? Muy bien!
- November 6 is National Nachos Day (examiner.com)
- National Nacho Day: How to make the ultimate nachos and nacho cocktail (latimes.com)
- It’s National Nachos Day! (katiepertiet.typepad.com)
- 6 Recipes to Celebrate National Nachos Day (coed.com)