In 1954, a cookbook from the Church of the Redeemer in Eagle Pass published a recipe for nachos to advertise the Victory Club. In that compilation, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya was credited as the first person to introduce nachos. October 21 is celebrated as the International Day of the Nacho to honor Anaya, who died in 1975.
Who knew that one of the most iconic Mexican dishes is an invention by a retired banker and that the dish served to women on a shopping trip in Eagle Pass will change the way we eat tortilla chips?
Anaya’s son, Ignacio Anaya Jr., continued the legacy after his father’s death. In a report by the San Antonio Express-News, Anaya Jr. tried to help his father take ownership of the first nachos recipe. However, since the dish was already out for too long, there was no way it to reclaim it from the public domain. Regardless, Anaya Jr. opened Nacho’s Restaurant in Piedras Negras to honor the original maker of nachos.
Most people think that nachos come from a Mexican-American or Tex-Med background. Nachos were made by Anaya across the border of Eagle Pass, Texas. The wives of U.S. soldiers who were stationed at the nearby fort were in Mexico on a shopping trip and arrived at a restaurant after they closed. In there, the restaurant master whipped them up some nachos. The year was 1943, in the city of Piedras Negras.
The original recipe for the authentic nachos by Anaya was simple. Unlike nacho variants today that overflow with many toppings, his version only had tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sliced pickled jalapenos—nothing too fancy. It didn’t have beans or meat. Purists and revisionists might argue about how nachos should be made, but no one can change the original recipe.
Tortilla Chips are an American Touch.
A tortilleria in Los Angeles packaged nachos for the first time. Since warped and broken tortillas don’t sell well, Rebecca Webb Carranza had a brilliant idea to sell them at a lower price so they don’t end up as waste. It was an instant hit, for only 10 cents a bag.
Although most people point to Carranza as the firestarter for this idea, other people still dispute this piece of history until today.
Ballpark Nachos are NFL Favorites.
The rise of the current nachos we love comes from the 70s. In 1976, Frank Liberto began serving them at the Arlington Stadium in Texas, at the Superbowl. NFL host Howard Cosell tasted them at a Colts-Cowboys game a few years later, and he could not stop talking about them ever since.
The Secret of the Melted Cheese.
The famous gooey and melted cheese on top of nachos is a fraud. Most nacho cheese brands use a salt called Sodium Citrate that lowers the acidity in cheese. In effect, the proteins in cheese become more soluble, meaning they are melted easier since the cheese has emulsified and there is less fat. Because of sodium citrate, the cheese stays melted without getting oily or clumpy.
The nachos we know today started from Ignacio Anaya’s tiny kitchen. Through traditional ingredients, he was able to curate a dish that many Americans fell for instantly. Although it was too late to claim it as his legally, his creation passed through generations, including the future. Through the cross-cultural exchange, nachos changed form and became a worldwide phenomenon in only a few years—definitely “nacho” ordinary story.
Nachos Mexican Grille is a family-run nachos restaurant ready to serve clients in the Lincoln New Hampshire area. Focusing on Mexican food, we assure you that we only give our customers the best Mexican food. Check out our menu today and book a reservation right away!