A Brief History of… Nachos
Adriana Orr was a library researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary and had been asked the origin of the word “nacho.” Through all of her research, the only definition she could find meant “flat-nosed,” but she was quite sure the modern meaning of the word had not come from this derivative. Over time, she continued to hit a brick wall until a young girl overheard her discussion of the problem and told Ms Orr that Nacho is short for Ignacio, a man who lives in her village in Mexico.
Adriana went to the small village of Piedras Negras, and met Chef Ignacio Anaya, chef of the Victory Club, who told her he had served the dish to a group of ladies on a shopping trip who came by the restaurant after it had already closed.. He made the dish using available ingredients and named it Nachos Especiales.
An interesting side note is that a waitress by the name of Carmen Rocha, a waitress at El Cholo Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles in the late 1950’s is credited for making Nachos popular. Jack Nicholson remembers her as a friendly outgoing lady that loved to make this special snack for special guests that was not even on the menu. It spread like wildfire and she is credited for the fire.