There are many foods in the world that deserve celebration – cake, ice cream, pizza, spaghetti and tacos come to mind. But nachos? Nachos live in a category all their own.
A Brief History of Nachos
For anyone who has been living under a rock his or her entire life, nachos is a Mexican dish that centers around layers of cheese and other toppings served over tortilla chips. While many of us think of this as a traditional Mexican staple, it actually wasn’t invented until the early 1940s. Working at a restaurant in Piedras Negras, Chef Ignacio Anaya was asked by a group of customers to bring them a snack that they hadn’t tried before. Glancing around the kitchen, Anaya came up with the idea to cut up tortillas in triangles to fry, then top them with cheese and jalapeno peppers. After devouring the delicious snack, the women asked what it was called. As a common nickname of Ignacio is “Nacho,” they were called “Nacho’s Special.” The dish was quickly popularized all over Mexico and throughout the United States through Texas and the southwest where Mexican food is often a staple.
Although it’s unclear when the national holiday began, we celebrate National Nacho Day on November 6th every year. Unfortunately not a recognized bank holiday (sorry all, you don’t get off work or school), it is nevertheless a fun way to spend a day. Here are a few fun ways to celebrate with friends and family.
Host a Potluck Nacho Party
One of the best parts of a good plate of nachos is a variety of toppings. By hosting a potluck nacho party, you can increase the assortment of toppings while simultaneously decreasing the amount of food you are responsible for preparing. As the host, you can prepare the nacho cheese (if done in the crockpot, you cut down your prep time even further) and supply the mounds of chips needed for yourself and your guests. Make sure to offer up a way to track what everybody is bringing to reduce the chances of having 10 types of beans and no salsa. An added plus to this plan is also getting to see what your friends like to put on their nachos, which likely is different from your go-to recipe.
Have a Nacho Competition
In a similar vein to the Potluck Nacho Party, having a Nacho Competition decreases the amount of cooking down on your end and increases the diversity in your nacho offering. There are a few ways to organize the competition itself; perhaps the adults make the nachos and the kids are the judges. Alternatively, everybody could judge, and you can vote similarly to a chili cook off. No matter which way you decide to organize it, everybody gets to eat nachos which clearly means everybody is a winner.
Just Make Nachos!
The easiest and most classic way to celebrate, of course, is to just make and eat nachos! Easily made at home, there are infinite ways to create your own spin on this classic dish. You can go old school with tortillas, cheese and jalapenos like the original “Nacho’s Special,” or you can give it a southern twist topped with queso, pulled pork, BBQ sauce and coleslaw. Any way you serve it, you’ll create a memorable evening for your family and pay tribute to a great dish. And, don’t forget to tag @forsythmags with how you decide to celebrate #nationalnachosday!