In the same spirit of equally amorphous concepts like salads and curries, basically anything you throw on top of tortilla chips can be considered nachos. In fact, many further blur the lines with alternative bases like pita chips or potato chips, deftly dancing across cultural boundaries with ease.
Unlike the aforementioned culinary abstractions, nachos can trace their lineage directly to one single innovator. Mr. Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, maître d’ of Club Victoria in Piedras Negras, Mexico was not even a chef, but a tirelessly hospitable host. When, in 1943, a group arrived at the restaurant and the cook was no where to be found, he leapt into action. Piling up what scant ingredients he could find, the towering plate of tortilla chips topped with sliced jalapeños and melted cheese was an instant hit. Named for the man of the moment, the Nachos Especiales, would forever change the way that Mexicans, Americans, and the world at large, ate their chips.
There’s no one “right” or “best” way to make nachos; they’re the ultimate blank slate, infinitely adaptable to your personal tastes. Though it defies the conventionally accepted definition, even the chips are variable, if you’d rather a base of fries or tots. Personally, I must insist that some form of cheese or queso is mandatory, but from there, just a few ideas for toppings include…
- guacamole or diced avocado
- pico de gallo
- shredded lettuce or cabbage
- fresh spinach
- fresh or grilled corn
- roasted red peppers
- halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- whole pinto or black beans
- re-fried beans
- sliced black olives
- fresh or pickled jalapeño
- fresh or pickled red onions
- meatless grounds
- pulled jackfruit
- crumbled tofu
- sour cream or cashew crema
- hot sauce
- fresh lime juice
That’s not even the half of it. Think about the possibilities for a breakfast variant, and even sweet options for dessert nachos! Given the endless choices, what are your go-to’s?
7 thoughts on “Totopos por Todos”
Nope. Cheese for me, as you know. But what a great post. You’re a wonderful writer.
No need to be vegan to enjoy the food! And I truly appreciate your kindness! :)
Totally agree with Mimi! Love your writing style. It really pulls in the reader. Love all these ideas as dairy and I do not get along well. Must try pulled jackfruit.
Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me, and I’m so glad I might have inspired a few new topping ideas!
Nice to know that there is no “right” or “best” way to make nachos, but I agree some sort of cheese is a must.
Hurrah for Mr. Amaya (and you.) I do love nachos.
So many great options and thinking on a breakfast version now, yum!