November 6 is National Nachos Day! On this day, we celebrate everyone’s favorite snack, no matter how you make it. Chicken or beef? Beans or salsa? Cheddar or that yellow stuff they top chips with at football games? There’s no one specific way to make it as long as it has two primary ingredients: Chips and as much cheese as you can pile on!
History of National Nachos Day
Any discussion about the history of nachos has to begin in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras — just west of the Rio Grande — across Eagle Pass, Texas. One day in 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Ft. Duncan dropped in on a Piedras Negras hotspot called the Victory Club. Unfortunately, the restaurant had closed for the day. Still, a manager named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya decided to throw a dish together based on whatever ingredients he still had left. Among them? Cheese and tortillas. Anaya sliced the fried tortillas into triangles, added some shredded cheddar and jalapeño peppers — and started a new tradition that bears his name to this day. (Thanks, Nacho! Where would our Super Bowl parties be without you?)
An alternative take on nachos — using the now familiar cheese sauce — appeared at a Texas Rangers baseball game at Arlington Stadium in 1976. Two years later, the iconic ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell mentioned the term “nachos” during a Monday Night Football game — helping to turn this relatively simple dish into an American tradition.
Note: Piedras Negras continues to celebrate “The International Nacho Festival” each October — complete with live music, art, cultural activities, and a “giant nacho” contest.
National Nachos Day Timeline
By the book
The St. Anne’s Cookbook published Anaya’s original recipe for nachos.
Nachos Go Coastal
An L.A. waitress named Carmen Rocha brings the dish to Southern California’s El Cholo restaurant.
Monday Night nachos
Famed sportscaster Howard Cosell turns an entire nation onto a new snack during a game between the then-Baltimore Colts and Dallas Cowboys.
Nachos are a home run
The Houston Astros tribute “Walkoff Nachos” on the menu at Minute Maid Park to second baseman Jose Altuve’s iconic “walk-off” home run.
National Nachos Day Faqs
When did nachos become popular?
While a Mexican hotel manager created the dish in 1943, a U.S. sportscaster gets credit for popularizing nachos in 1976 during a Monday Night Football game.
Are nachos unhealthy?
Deep-fried foods topped with melted cheese generally don’t rate high with cardiologists. So instead, try going heavy on colorful vegetables and using whole-grain flour. Or limit yourself to Super Bowl nachos once a year.
Who invented nachos?
Credit goes to Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who first created them for the wives of U.S. servicemen at a Mexican hotel restaurant in 1943.
National Nachos Day Activities
Have a nacho competition
They have chili cookoffs, barbecue competitions, and even bake-offs, so why not an annual nacho competition? Well, you’ll be happy to know that they hold a yearly Nacho Fest at the Port Jefferson Station in New York, but you don’t have to go there to experience it! What with the many ways you can serve this crunchy culinary masterpiece, invite some of your most talented tortilla artists to bring their best recipe to the table.
Hit your local cineplex
Now, nachos have become just as much a movie theater staple as popcorn. This National Nachos Day, try taking in a blockbuster while skipping on the popcorn. Instead, when you hit the concession stand, make a hot, melty plate of nachos, the show’s star. Remember the extra cheese!
Perfect the chip-to-cheese ratio
One flaw of nachos is that you can only cover so many tortilla chips with cheese. Eventually, you’re left with the bottom scraps, which might as well have been left in the bag where you found them. This doesn’t have to be the case! Next, place those chips on a cookie sheet and space them apart. Cover each chip with cheese and bake. Plate the chips and top with your favorite extras. You’ll guarantee those bottom chips get all the cheesy love they deserve.
Why We Love National Nachos Day
They’re perfect for any party.
Are there any celebration nachos that aren’t welcome? Seriously, Super Bowl, Fourth of July, and birthdays — if you’re bringing nachos, you might as well throw on a cape while you’re at it because you just became the hero of the party! Don’t be that person who shows up with a five-dollar bag of plain potato chips; whip out that salsa and make a statement!
They can be topped with just about anything.
It doesn’t have to be all about the guacamole and hot sauce. You can make nachos that fit any style of cuisine. How about giving your nachos a Mediterranean flare by subbing those tortillas and beans for pita chips and hummus? Fan of Italian food? Try crisping up some pizza dough and topping it with marinara and mozzarella! The possibilities are endless.
They can be a snack or a meal.
It’s hard to classify what nachos are. The chips would make you believe they’re a snack, but what with all those toppings? How can it not be a meal? That’s the great thing about nachos; they can be either. Perfect for either lunch or dinner, nachos are also only one fried egg away from being a breakfast staple!