This versatile comfort food is just what we want to celebrate in 2020. #nationalnachosday
Mild or spicy? Cheese sauce or melted cheese? Meaty or vegetarian? Beans or no beans? The options are endless to enjoy this treat at a ballgame, at home, or at your favorite restaurant.
In this year of a pandemic, political rivalries, masks, murder hornets, wildfires, and just plain craziness, let's all take a break and celebrate the food that's been comforting us for years. The nacho.
November 6 is National Nachos Day ... a great day to pay homage to the delectable dish.
The History of the Nacho
According to The Kitchen Project, the origin of the nacho was fairly easy to nail down. The history of certain dishes can have multiple, competing origins, but this was not the case for nachos. There was a library researcher, Adriana P. Orr, who was asked to confirm the origin of the word "nacho" for the Oxford English Dictionary. With the best research tools at her fingertips, Orr was unable to locate anything further than the meaning of "nacho" being "flat-nosed." A Spanish girl overheard Orr's discussions and pointed her in the right direction.
"Nacho is short for someone named Ignacio where she grew up in Mexico. The search led her to the town, Piedras Negras (a small Mexican town just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas) Where Ignacio Anaya, chef at the old Victory Club, is recorded to have served this dish in 1943 to a dozen ladies on a shopping trip from Eagle Pass who came to the restaurant after it had closed. This was a simple dish that Ignacio had the ingredients for so he served it and called it simply, Nachos Especiales."
The Nacho: Basic or Gourmet?
For the simple palate, nachos include corn tortilla chips and cheese and often salsa. And for the gourmet, this becomes a platform on which a perfect creation can come to life.
Whether your plate of nachos is an appetizer for a meal or the meal itself, people have been topping nachos with a variety of ingredients. Choose from shredded cheese, nacho cheese sauce, beans, chicken, beef, pulled pork, brisket, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, chilis, jalapenos, onions, just to name a few.
And you don't need to limit yourself to Mexican food flavors and ingredients for your nachos. Many homes and restaurants alike serve "nachos" influenced by other culinary cultures, such as barbeque, Italian, and Asian.
Try These Recipes
You can celebrate your favorite nacho at a local restaurant, or you can create your own plate of nachos in the comfort of your own home. Make it even more fun with each family member creating his or her own nacho masterpiece to share. Add a fun competition with prizes awarded for each entry (hottest, most unique, simplest, tallest, etc.).
What's the best way to fix nachos, in your experience? Tell us in the comments below.