Nachos are a delicious Mexican food that can be both a snack and a main meal depending on how they are made. The most basic ingredients are usually tortilla chips, cheese and salsa, but there are many variations of this dish. The simplicity and enjoyable taste of nachos led to their popularity in Mexico and their spread to much of the world. Continue reading to find out who invented this delicious dish.
Who Invented Nachos
Unlike many foods, the invention of nachos can be traced back to one person. In 1943 Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, the maître d’ of the Victory Club restaurant, invented the snack for a group of U.S. army wives who arrived for a meal after the restaurant had closed. Not wanting to turn them away, but not able to locate the chef, he decided to invent a dish from the ingredients left in the kitchen. He cut tortillas into triangles and added shredded cheddar, which were then heated. The then added sliced jalapeño peppers and served them to the women. He called the dish “Nacho’s especiales” and this eventually became changed to nachos as the dish became popular.
Did you know?
Nachos have become so popular that October 21 marks the International Day of the Nacho. Ignacio Anaya’s son serves as judge for the annual nacho competition. An International Nacho Festival is also held over 3 days in October and features a contest for the biggest nacho in the world!
Waitress Carmen Rocha is credited with making nachos popular in the United States in the late 1950’s. She worked at the El Cholo Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles and would made the snack for guests even though they were not on the menu! She is believed to be the largest factor in the spread and popularity of this dish!
Frank Liberto is also credited with increasing the popularity of this dish. He invented a fast food version with a long life sauce that didn’t need to be heated. These were first sold at Arlington Stadium in Texas (then home of the Rangers).