Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fun Fact: The Origin of Nachos!

The other day, I was once again thinking, "Wow, nachos really do rule.  I wonder who invented them?"  After a quick look at Wikipedia and a Google search for references to back it up, I found a pretty interesting story about where this delightful food came from.  Read and enjoy!

(Paraphrased from Wikipedia and an article written by Karen Haram for the San Antonio Express in Texas)

Back in 1943, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya assembled the first plate of nachos.  At that time, he had no idea that 60 years later, this appetizer would make his nickname a household word.  At the time, señior Anaya was working at the 'Victory Club', a restaurant owned by Rudolfo De Los Santos in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.  As Igancio's son, Ignacio Jr. recalls the story, a woman named Mamie Finan and a group of 10 to 12 officers’ wives, whose husbands were stationed at Texas' Fort Duncan Air Base, traveled across the border to eat at the Victory Club. When Señior Anaya couldn’t find the cook, he sprung into action.  Anaya, a maitre d’ at the time said, "Let me go quick and fix something for you." He went into the kitchen, picked up tostados (chips), grated some cheese on them, and put them under the "Salamander" (a broiling unit that quickly browns the top of foods). He pulled them out after a couple minutes, all melted, and added some slices of jalapeño.  The name of the snack, Anaya Jr. says, came from Mamie Finan, who called the plate of cheese- and pepper-topped chips Nacho’s Especiales. The name was later shortened to simply “nachos.”

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