Starting from their name, nachos have strong links with Mexican culture. But are nachos authentic Mexican food? In today’s post, we take a dive into the history of this fun and savory dish.
The Origins of Nachos
As we saw in a previous post, Nachos originated in Northern Mexico, in the late 1940s, in a small town called Piedras Negras. This is a historically significant place, as it marks the border between Mexico and the United States.
Legend has it that a large party walked into a restaurant, looking for food and a hot meal.
The restaurant was closed, but the maître d, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, decided to improvise a new dish with what was available in the kitchen.
He took some tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and jalapeño peppers, and heated them together until melted. And thus, the first batch of nachos was born, which Anaya named “Nacho’s Special.”
Are Nachos Authentic Mexican Food?
So, are nachos authentic Mexican food? The answer depends on what you mean by “authentic.” If by that you mean a dish that was invented in Mexico by a Mexican, then yes, nachos are authentic Mexican food.
But if by “authentic” you mean food that not only was created but also evolved entirely in Mexico, shaped by the taste of Mexican people, then it probably would be more accurate to say that nachos are a Tex-Mex dish.
Although they were invented in Mexico, nachos first rose to prominence in the United States, and have been adopted around the world, including Mexico itself.
However, Mexicans have embraced nachos, putting their own spin on this classic. Some common ways to serve nachos in Mexico include:
- Nachos with carne asada
- Nachos with shrimp and guacamole
- Nachos with chorizo and cheese
- Nachos with chicharron (fried pork belly)
Wrapping It Up
If nachos are authentic Mexican food or not, the answer will depend on what you intend by authentic.
What’s for sure is that nachos represent a delicious mix of different culinary traditions, crossing borders and bringing different communities together.
What began as a resourceful man’s last-minute solution has become one of the world’s favorite snacks and a symbol of Mexican-American culture.
Enjoy Authentic Mexican Food at El Pollo Norteño
If what you want is Authentic Mexican food in California (including nachos!), El Pollo Norteño is the place to go.
Visit today any of our five locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Lake Forest), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic Mexican dishes: amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, caldo de pollo, flan, carnitas, carne asada, and more!