What are Nachos?
Nachos are a delicious dish that is sometimes served as an appetizer and typically consist of baked tortilla chips covered with melted cheese. Nachos have their culinary roots in Northern Mexico. The toppings used in this dish can include:
- ground beef
- shredded pork
- ground turkey
In the United States, the popularity of this dish has grown over the years. These days, Americans celebrate National Nachos Day on November 6th. In 2019, 231.48 million Americans devoured corn and tortilla chips and cheese snacks.
The top five most popular Mexican food snacks, according to Taste Atlas are:
- Chile Relleno
Origin of nachos
A man named Ignacio “El Nacho” Anaya is often credited with creating nachos. During WWII, the wives of American military officers would often cross over the Rio Grande River to visit Piedras Negras, a Mexican town. On one particular occasion, some women visited a nearby restaurant within the region to get something to eat. Ignacio Anaya was the person who received the women, but the cook was not available.
Anaya did not want to turn away the women; therefore, he went into the kitchen and got hold of what he could find. He used tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapeño peppers to compose a delightful delicacy. Nacho was Ignacio’s nickname, so he named the meal after himself. The dish was a hit and the popularity of this dish would rise over the next two decades.
In the 1970s, the meal soared in popularity thanks to Frank Liberto, a concession salesman. Liberto started to sell this to fans at Arlington stadium. Since real cheese does not last long, Liberto decided to adjust the recipe to include one part cheese and one part of secret ingredients. The new combination led to the creation of cheese sauce which also had a longer shelf life. Over the years, it has become one of the most popular Mexican dishes in America.
Nachos can supply a significant fraction of your caloric intake if you are on a 2000 calorie daily diet. It is recommendable to consume this dish in moderation as it doesn’t provide much nutritional value. A serving size of 255g of this dish typically includes:
To prepare the perfect nachos, follow these simple tips:
- If you are using meat as a topping, cut it into small pieces.
- Keep the hot and cold ingredients apart until the point of serving.
- Don’t be afraid to try out different flavors in your recipe.
A good place to store leftovers is in the refrigerator. Remember to place the meal in an airtight container or plastic bag first. However, the best option is to prepare what you can eat in one sitting. A freshly prepared meal will always taste better than leftovers.
Reheating leftovers can be tricky. If you use a microwave, the food will become soggy. The crispness of the chips will be gone and you may not enjoy your meal as much. Therefore, the perfect way to reheat nachos is by using an oven to ensure the crunchy texture of the chips.
Follow these steps to reheat any leftovers of this dish:
- Fire up your oven to 225°F.
- Place the nachos on a baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil. Make sure you remove any toppings like sour cream, lettuce, etc.
- The oven cooking time depends on the crunchiness you desire. Nonetheless, this time should range from five to twenty minutes. Be watchful as this dish can burn quickly.
This dish can be adjusted to suit a variety of palates. Here are five tasty recipes:
- Skillet Nacho Dip
- Easy Nachos
- Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos
- Chili-Chorizo Nachos
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Mole Nachos
- Shredded Chicken and Avocado Nacho Salad
The Food and Drug Administration has no specific regulations concerning this Mexican food. However, the FDA has requirements for the production and labeling of cheese and its related products. Additionally, the FDA has recommendations for how meat ingredients, such as beef and pork should be cooked to avoid foodborne illnesses.
Daily, Kitchen. “Who Invented Nachos?” huffpost.com, HuffPost blog, August 31st, 2012, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/nachos-inventor_n_1515233
Blitz, Matt. “The Origin of Nachos and How Football Helped Popularize Them Surprisingly Recently.” todayifoundout.com, todayifoundout blog, 4 Feb. 2017, www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2017/02/origin-nachos-football-helped-popularize/.