Nacho is a corn based foodstuff which has its origin in Mexico. This dish is immensely popular in Mexico and has association with Tex-Mex cuisine. Nachos can be made in a quick manner to serve as a wonderful snack item and are popular among the Super Bowl snacks. An interesting feature about nacho is that it can be also served as a full meal by way of making use of more ingredients. Originally these corn based foodstuffs were made of fried corn tortillas which were covered with pickled jalapeño peppers and melted cheese. However, the simplest way to prepare this dish is to cover tortilla chips with melted cheese. Baked Nachos, Italian Nachos, Chicken Nachos and many more are considered the perfect American football snacks, ideal to be served during the Super Bowl season.
The origin of nacho is in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The dish was initially prepared at one of the restaurants in Coahuila, Mexico, in 1943. These corn based food stuffs were prepared in great hurry, as a snack item with whatever little amount of various ingredients present in the kitchen, so as to serve a large group of people who had come instantly at the time of closure of the restaurant. All the available tortillas were cut in the form of triangle and cheese was applied on them. The cheese covered tortillas were then heated in a quick manner, and sliced jalapeño peppers were added to them. This, on the spot invented recipe, was termed as nacho and till date it is the quickest “on the spot” snack for various occasions, including Super Bowl.
Nacho Cheese - An Essential Ingredient of Nacho Recipe
Snacks like nacho, are a favorite during the football season i.e., during Super Bowl. In various nacho recipes, nacho cheese is used in place of ordinary cheddar cheese. It is a kind of processed cheese, which is mixed with various spices and peppers, so as to create a good flavored nacho dish. In case of large production settings, like sports venues, movie theatres, convenience stores and schools, nacho recipe included the use of nacho cheese instead of fresh grated cheese. This cheese is very convenient to place over the tortilla chips to attain delicious nachos. Also, this cheese has gained immense popularity in United States and is readily available in various grocery stores. Branded versions of this popular cheese are available by the names of Frito-Lay, Taco Bell, and Tostitos. People wanting inexpensive ones can go for off branded versions of this cheese. Branded nacho cheese is considered to be of good quality as compared to non-branded ones.
Apart from making use of tortillas and cheese to prepare nachos, there are a few other variations, which are discussed below.
- One of the variations of nacho recipe is to make use of fried and quartered tostada with toppings of refried beans, which is popular even during Super Bowl season.
- Another variation of nacho is using various meats, such as beef and chicken, as the base and creating a layer of shredded cheese as the topping. These zesty meat variations are a must in the Super Bowl menu.
- The common toppings that are used in almost all nacho variations include red peppers or jalapeño peppers, ground beef and chicken, chili con carne, onions, salsa, olives, sour cream, lettuce, refried beans, tomatoes, pinto beans, lime, black beans, and pickles.
- Nachos that are prepared with lot of toppings are quite filling and served as a full meal. Such types are popular as "super nachos” or "loaded nachos".
Preparing nacho is quite easy. A platter is taken and all the tortilla chips are arranged on it. Various kinds of toppings like refried beans, meat, onions etc., are placed on the tortilla. Thereafter, shredded cheese or nacho cheese is spread over the whole platter and microwaved. After the cheese melts, the platter is removed from the microwave and cold toppings are placed on the prepared tortillas. Cold toppings may include tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, and jalapenos. The nacho dish is served hot right away.
Nacho Recipe –Variations
- United States - In United Sates, nacho dish is normally served in various restaurants, bars and during theme based occasions, in the form of an appetizer. In some of the restaurants, the dish is served as large sized meal with lots of toppings consisting of beans, olives, onion, tomatoes, chicken etc. The toppings are placed on the tostada or tortilla chips. Nacho cheese is added over the toppings and the prepared stuff is placed in the microwave or oven. The cooked stuff is taken out from the microwave or oven after a few minutes and served hot.
- A popular American variation of this appetizer is based on the football theme parties held during Super Bowl and other football nights. It is made with ground beef and refried beans as the key ingredients.
- Mexico - In Tex-Mex restaurants, the nacho recipe involves use of tortilla chips and cheese. Jalapeno peppers may be also added in some restaurants as one of the toppings. Here small sized bowls of salsa or chili con queso are served along with hot nachos as appetizers.
- Tennessee and Memphis - In Tennessee and Memphis, the corn based foods are served in most of the barbeque restaurants and in major sports events. In barbeque nacho recipe, pieces of barbequed pork are placed over tortilla chips and covered with barbeque sauce, melted cheese and jalapeno peppers. They are heated in oven and served hot.
- Hawaii - In Hawaii, there are many bars and restaurants which serve kalua pork nachos. Here, generous amount of kalua pork is placed on the top of tortilla chips and covered with various toppings and cheese. The prepared nacho is then placed in the microwave or oven for a few minutes and served hot.
- October 21 is celebrated as the International Day of the Nacho. The celebration process of this day was initiated in 1990s in Mexico and United States, so as to honor the invention of nachos at one of the restaurants in Mexico.
- The International Nacho Festival is celebrated between October 13 and October 15, at Piedras Negras.