International Day of the Nacho

International Day of the Nacho - Monday, October 21, 2024

Food & Beverage Cooking Food Mexican Mexican food

The International Day of the Nacho is October 21. It’s one of America’s favorite Tex-Mex treats and you get permission to eat nachos for a full 24 hours! This day should be full of nachos in all their delicious forms, covered with just cheese or with all kinds of delicious additions, like black beans, olives, guacamole, chili — you name it!

History of International Day of the Nacho

The International Day of the Nacho is October 21 and its origins  centers around Ignacio Anaya, who worked at the Old Victory Club in Piedras Negras in 1943.  The Old Victory Club was situated near an American military base. One day, a group of American military wives went on a shopping trip. When they were done, hungry, they approached several restaurants but all of the restaurants in town were already closed.  With stomachs rumbling, the women approached the last open restaurant, the Old Victory Club.

 As the nachos legend continues, Ignacio Anaya worked either as a chef or a maitre d’ and because the restaurant rush was over, there wasn’t that much food left to offer the group. Feeling a bit sorry for them, Anaya offered to see what he could find and prepare himself. Eventually, he came out with a new Mexican hors d’oeuvre, a “nacho special.” Here’s some added trivia — Ignacio named the dish after himself because “Nacho” is short for Ignacio. According to “Time” magazine, Ignacio “sliced and fried some tortilla chips, covered them with shredded cheddar and sliced jalapenos and put the concoction in the oven for a couple of minutes.”  The result was a new Tex-Mex classic dish that Americans and Mexicans have enjoyed ever since!

International Day of the Nacho timeline


Nachos Are Invented

Ignacio Anaya first feeds his group of hungry guests at the Victory Club, the restaurant across the Rio Grande River from Texas.


Texas Rangers Push the Snack

Frank Liberto begins selling nachos at Arlington Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers, and the snack catches on after he invents nacho cheese sauce.


Ignacio Anaya Dies

The inventor of nachos dies and a plaque is erected in his honor in Piedras Negras, with October 21 declared International Day of the Nacho.

International Day of the Nacho FAQs

What is International Day of the Nacho?

It’s a day that commemorates the shared heritage of the nacho, a favorite Tex-Mex dish. It’s celebrated in both Mexico and the United States as well as world-wide. International Day of the Nacho is an annual event that encourages day-long feasting on October 21.

What are nachos?

Nachos are chips of tortillas, deep fried until golden and covered in cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers whole or sliced, and a variety of other toppings including guacamole, black beans, chili and chicken just to name a few.

Who invented nachos?

Ignacio Anaya was either a chef or a maitre’ d at a restaurant in Piedras Negras. When a hungry group of military wives came in right before the restaurant’s close, Anaya felt sorry for them and created his self-named dish with leftovers he found in the kitchen.

International Day of the Nacho Activities

  1. Eat some nachos

    This is going to surprise you, but we think the best way of celebrating International Day of the Nacho is to eat some nachos! Hunt around for the best nachos in town. (If you’re unsure, ask your friends.) This is also the day for the true nacho lover to be creative and make your own original concoctions. After all, there’s no right or wrong way to make nachos as long as they taste gooey great! If your fingers are covered in melted cheesiness, you got it right!

  2. Share some nachos

    You know what’s tragic? A person grubbing on a plate of nachos without friends to jump in and share. That’s why International Day of the Nacho is the perfect opportunity to socialize, and hey, who doesn’t love a message inviting them somewhere to consume a deliciously carb-y, fatty, greasy, hot, delicious snack? Nobody. That’s who.

  3. Make some nacho art

    In honor of the creativity of Ignacio Anaya, why not create some nacho art of your own with tortilla chips and a blank canvas. Doing a quick search for “nacho art” on the Internet should give you ample inspiration. For example, there’s a guy who has changed the album covers of classic records to feature nachos. There’s Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Nachos" and Guns’N’Roses’ “Appetite for Nachos." You get the idea.

Why We Love International Day of the Nacho

  1. Nachos were created by accident

    Ignacio Anaya invented nachos by accident when some hungry customers needed feeding at his border town restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico. Lacking a chef for the night, he cut some tortillas into triangles, melted cheese together with the triangular chips and topped it with jalapenos. Nicknamed “nacho” because of his small stature, Anaya called the dish “Nacho’s Special Dish," or “Nachos Especiales," and a dish was born.

  2. Nachos bring us together

    Nachos may have been invented on the border of America and Mexico, but they’re popular all over the world with their own special twists. In Memphis, Tennessee, pulled pork is a common addition, along with barbecue sauce and peppers. In Hawaii, kalua pork and pineapple nachos are very common. It’s the little variations in this delicious dish that make it splendid! Spam nachos? It could happen.

  3. Tex-Mex is an American tradition

    Traditional Mexican cooking is of course, delicious, but there’s something charmingly commercial about the fusion of American tastes with Mexican cooking, first named after the Texas Mexican Railway chartered in Southern Texas in 1875. Nowadays, Tex-Mex cooking has spread across the world, with the first Tex-Mex restaurant opening in Paris in the 1980s. Basically, if there’s spice, tortillas, some fried protein and a chili or two involved, we’re there. Let’s celebrate the more traditional Mexican eats another day!

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