Originally written on November 6, 2021. Updated 2023
On November 6th, National Nachos Day recognizes the snack favored at sporting events (and not only) all over the world.
In their purest form, nachos are tortilla chips covered in cheese, queso or other melted cheese and served with salsa.
Sometimes they’re hot and spicy, sometimes cheesy. But one thing is certain: they’re delicious, and what food deserves its own holiday more than nachos?
From the kitchens of Texas to every Stadium all over the world, nachos have more than earned their fame.
And their own day, of course.
The origin of Nachos can be traced back to Piedras Negras, Mexico, just across the border from the state of Texas in the USA.
And, apparently, the situation was sort of a fluke, which is how in fact a lot of delicious things get discovered.
One day in 1943, when the wives of some American soldiers stationed nearby came into his restaurant, the man running the place, whose name was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, had to make them something to eat.
The problem was that it was late in the evening, and already a few minutes past closing time, so there wasn’t much left in the kitchen.
Since Ignacio really didn’t have enough ingredients left over to make any real, full dish, he put together a conglomeration of what he did have: a few tortillas, some shredded cheese, and some pickled jalapeno peppers.
Getting even more creative, Nacho cut up the tortillas into pieces, sprinkled what else he had over them, and baked them for a few minutes to melt the cheese before serving them.
The women greatly enjoyed this snack, and when they asked Ignacio what it was called, he answered “Nacho’s Especiales”.
In any case, word of the new creation quickly traveled from the army wives and back through Texas and the Southwestern parts of North America.
People from all over tried them and loved them.
Ignacio Anaya himself went on to work at the Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses the original recipe to this day.
The man even opened his own restaurant later on, called “Nacho’s Restaurant”, which was in Piedras Negras as well.
Ignacio Anaya’s original Nachos recipe was printed in the 1954 St. Anne’s Cookbook.
A few years later, a modified version of the original dish, with cheese sauce and prepared tortilla chips was marketed in 1976 by businessman Frank Liberto during various sporting events taking place in Arlington, Texas, in a version that became known as “ballpark nachos”.
Our modern Nachos can be baked or not, simple or loaded, served hot or cold, as well as with beans, peppers or meat. Whether you’re a vegan to full-on carnivores, there’s a nachos recipe for you.
But, no matter how they are served and eaten, as they are certainly worthy of celebration on this day!
How to celebrate Nachos Day?
Many restaurants have some version of Nachos on the menu today and not only, especially in Mexican, Tex-Mex and other style restaurants.
Head on out to a restaurant that serves them and get a tasty pile of tortilla chips drenched with cheese and other delicious things.
But, for an authentic way to enjoy Nachos Day, head on down to the place where it all started–the restaurants in Piedras Negras, Mexico!
Of course, Ignacio Anaya probably won’t be there anymore, but his memory is still there.
And there is also an International Nachos Festival that takes place in this town, and they even have a contest for the Biggest Nacho in the World, which was at one point registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
If a trip to Mexico is too demanding for you, you can simply grab some bags of chips and toppings, and get ready to have a Nachos Day Party! And, of course, there is no better way to celebrate Nachos Day than to cook up some good old-fashioned nachos on your own.
Images from web – Google Research