How Did Nachos Get Their Name?

Nachos, a dish of tortilla chips topped with cheese and possibly other ingredients, such as peppers and seasoned meat, was named after Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, a Mexican cook who wanted to satisfy some hungry customers. In 1943, a group of army wives was shopping in a Mexican border town when they arrived at The Victory Club, the restaurant where Anaya worked, after its kitchen had closed. Anaya melted cheese over tortilla chips, added some jalapeño peppers and served them to his guests. The ladies enjoyed the cheesy dish so much that they began to spread the word about nachos especiales, and a classic snack was born.

More about nachos and other foods:

  • Many chefs and home cooks add their own embellishments to the base of chips and cheese, such as black olives and tomato salsa.

  • Some food manufacturers sell a product called nacho cheese, which is typically a processed cheese sauce seasoned with hot peppers, and it can be poured over chips for a quick plate of nachos.

  • Other recipes and foods that are reputed to be named after people include Béarnaise sauce, which supposedly either got its name from a French region or a nickname for King Henry IV of France. Loganberries got their name from John Harvey Logan, the horticulturist who developed the fruit. Kung Pao chicken was named after the job title of Ding Baozhen, a Chinese government official.

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Discussion Comments


Is this food healthy? As cheese with tortilla and pepper seems a bit spicy, sour with an odd flavor.

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