Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Word Wednesday - I love Nachos

As a matter of fact ...

I ate far too many nachos yesterday. They're just so tasty and simple. Some might even argue they're genius! But where did the word 'nacho' come from? What clever person decided to layer some baked tortillas, cheese, meat and a whole lot of tasty condiments together to make the first dish of nachos? Before we find out, feast your eyes on the nachos I had yesterday at Toronto's 'Sneaky Dee's'. In my defense, it was shared with my girlfriend and I didn't eat for the rest of the day! Don't judge me please.




So where was the first plat of nachos born? Mexico of course. What was surprising for me was just how modern they are, originating in 1943. It only took 70 years for them to take the world by storm! 

They were first made by a guy called Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya. Ignacio owned a restaurant in Piedras Negras (see right), just over the U.S border. 



One night, after closing time, he was approached by a group of American women who were wives of soldiers stationed nearby. Despite the closed sign, they requested food. Ignacio did not refuse them and instead made a decision that would land him in the history books forever.


Returning to the kitchen, he assessed the situation. There weren't many options. Using his initiative, Ignacio took some left over tortillas and baked them into triangles with melted cheese on top. He added jalapeno peppers for a bit of kick and served the dish to the women. Needless to say, they loved it. When asked what the dish was called, Ignacio replied 'Nacho's especiales'. In time, the apostrophe was lost and the name anglicised to become 'Special Nachos'.



Fast forward 70 years to me filling my face with the delicious baked treats and I have no doubt in my mind why they're still a success. As tasty as pizza but easier to make and with a sharing, casual vibe to every plate. Thanks Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya! Next time I'm enjoying a plate of your creation, I'll be sure to remember where they got their name!
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