Google’s Doodle has celebrated loads of less-than-famous people whose inventions have changed and bettered the world. But today’s honoree is one we can all rally behind.
Ignacio Anaya García was born on this day in 1895, but he became a legend in the food world in 1943 when he assembled tortilla chips on a plate and topped them with cheese and jalapeño peppers. It seems second nature today, but until then, no one had ever put together a plate of nachos.
The dish was a happy accident. Garcia was a Maître d’ at a popular restaurant in the border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila. When a group of Army wife customers arrived, he was unable to find the restaurant’s chef, so he threw the dish together, calling it Nachos especiales, a play on his own nickname “Nacho” (short for Ignacio).
The dish, as you might guess, was a hit. By 1960, Garcia (who passed away in 1975) had opened his own restaurant, called El Nacho.
While he could have patented his creation, Garcia refused to, which opened the doors for restaurants and bars everywhere to serve the dish.
“It’s just a snack to keep my customers happy and well-fed,” he reportedly said, “It’s like any other border dish”
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