Dish of the day: Nachos
Crispy corn chips under a pile of stringy, melted cheese, beans, meat, and guacamole – Nachos are so delicious and hardly need an introduction!
History of Nachos
Nachos originated in 1943 in a small Mexican city called Piedras Negras, next to the U.S military base Fort Duncan in Texas. One day, a group of U.S military wives was coming back home from shopping in Eagle Pass and wanted to stop somewhere for dinner, only to discover everything was closed. However, a chef at the old Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Ignacio Anaya felt sorry for the women and cooked them something out of what was left in the kitchen. He fried some tortilla chips, covered them with shredded cheddar and jalapenos and baked the dish in the oven for a few minutes. He served it to the women and they loved it, which led him to name the dish ‘Nacho’, which was his nickname.
‘Nacho’ died in 1975, but his son, Ignacio Anaya Jr. kept the recipe alive. He owned a Nacho’s restaurant in Piedras Negras. In 2002, he told a reporter from the San Antonio Express-News that he and his father had tried to claim legal ownership of the nacho in 1960 but that it had been too difficult.
Types of Nachos
The fundamental ingredients needed for Nachos are tortilla chips, jalapenos, and cheese. Anything else added is purely out of preference, as long as you can heat it in the oven or on the grill, anything goes. Meat, beans, vegetables, guacamole, red onion, and sour cream can all be added to make a ‘classic’ plate of nachos, but you can also get a little more creative.
Sweet potato is a popular ingredient to use, as is corn, chickpeas, cauliflower, kale, and butternut pumpkin. You can make a vegetarian or vegan nachos, or substitute the tortilla chips with something else – these days, the possibilities are endless.
A lot of different types of cuisines have playfully adapted nachos into their menu. For example, Italian nachos with lasagne pasta sheets, Irish nachos with potatoes, Korean beef nachos with Korean radish, Asian nachos with tuna – the list goes on.