Friday, 6 November 2015

30 days in November 6...

Nachos Day

Two Mexican corn snacks meet in a bar and one says to the other: ‘Why you no wanna tacho about it?’ And the other replies: ‘Because I nacho friend anymore.’


Today is Nachos Day, but then isn't every day potentially Nachos Day? Don’t get me wrong I’ve nothing against Mexican crisps but I have to say that whilst I do like the occasional dish of nachos I’m not at all sure that they are worthy of an entire day to themselves.

After all what do nachos do except sit on the plate covered in toppings wanting to be eaten? I suppose that you could crumble them and fill maracas to make that crazy Mexican maracas noise of a Mariachi band or place a few outside your hotel room door to warn of any approaching Mexican bandits. But apart from that… Well, they are pretty dull aren’t they? It’s not even as if they are a traditional Mexican food, they were invented by the U.S. army - almost.

In 1943, the wives of some U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan were in Piedras Negras shopping for sombreros and donkeys. When they arrived at the town’s only restaurant desperate as housewives are for tequila and nibbles it had already closed for the day. But U.S. army wives can be very persuasive so the maître d'hôtel, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Anaya, invented a new snack for them with just the ingredients he had available in his kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Nacho cut the tortillas into triangles and deep fried them, he then liberally sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese, reheated the corn triangles, added sliced pickled jalapeño peppers and served.

Viva! A new taste sensation was born along with the foundation of every Tex-Mex restaurant in the world and a great starter offering for every cheap pub in the UK.

Good old Nacho never even tried to claim ownership of his dish. But in 1960 his son contacted a lawyer to explore the possibility. Unfortunately, too much time had passed, like a long siesta on a hot Mexican afternoon, and the recipe passed for free into de dominio publico.

Ay, caramba!!!!

To end, here are a few slightly interesting facts about nachos, and I do mean slightly interesting and a few.

In 1972 a nacho bearing the face of Jesus was found in a dish of nachos in a bar in Guadalajara. The holy nacho is now enshrined in a golden casket at the Catedral Basilica de la Asuncion de Maria Santisima and is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a year.

A university in Kansas (follow the yellow nacho road) holds the record for the largest plate of nachos in the world. The huge bar snack weighed in at 4,689 pounds, with 2,200 of those pounds being nacho cheese. Portions of the 80-foot long, 2-foot wide, 10-inch deep pile of chips were sold for charity at a dollar each.

Apparently Nachos is the food most craved by pregnant women, although I assume this is US pregnant women as the food most British women crave is obviously lard.

There you go. Nachos felices amigos del dia.


  1. Paul Whitehouse on FB
    Nice post Andrew Height ! As we both know the Americans adore their Mexican food in the same way that we adore our Indian food. I do love it when i'm over there, i especially like especially how they serve chips and salsa in bars with your Corona or Shiner Bock, but over here i don't think we do Mexican particularly well. I can rustle up a pretty respectable mole tho !

    1. Andrew Height
      I'm sure that you can Paul. I love nachos, but had no idea they were so recent an invention. I'm happy with any Mexican dish so long as it is beef and chili based. I don't like Mexican chicken and i'm not even sure they do fish. I spent a lot of time in Tex Mex restaurants in the states, but the best Nachos I ever ate were in Hooters. Perhaps that's why I was such a regular.

    2. Paul Whitehouse
      Ha ha we both know you dont go to Hooters for the food Andrew. You go for the lovely ladies in their shorts and suntan pannyhose.

    3. Andrew Height
      No, definitely the beer and wings.

    4. Paul Whitehouse
      You still aren't convincing me! Clues are in its name!

    5. Andrew Height
      Okay, so I was helping a few students to pay their college bills. What's wrong with that? 'Usual table Andre?' They used to ask.