Unlike many food origin stories that are shrouded in the mystery of who made what, when, where, and why, the history of nachos is quite clear:
Nachos were first invented by a now legendary maître d’ named Ignacio Anaya —"Nacho" for short — at the Victory Club restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas. It is said that he created the first-ever batch of nachos canapé-style, circa 1943, as an improvised snack for a group of U.S. Army wives whose husbands were stationed at nearby Fort Duncan. He covered individual fried corn tortillas with Cheddar, melted it briefly in the oven, then topped each with a slice of pickled jalapeño. That's all there was to what he described as "Nacho's especiales" — soon shortened to just "nachos."
We’ve come a long way since Anaya’s burst of culinary inspiration, and today the world of nachos knows no bounds. Seriously, almost anything goes! Check out this list of Not-Cho Average Nacho Toppings, and pick up some essential nacho tips from The Daily Meal’s Ultimate Guide to Nachos. You could even whip up a batch of sweet dessert nachos if that’s more to your liking.
All that matters is that on Nov. 6 —National Nacho Day — you should be enjoying a big plate of nachos. Read on for a list of the 14 best, most over-the-top nacho recipes ever.