Nacho's Nachos

By Kirkus Reviews

On a platter or in a bowl, cheesy nachos are everywhere! But where did they come from? Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya was working his shift at the Club Victoria in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico—across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas—when Mamie Finan, a regular Anglo customer, walked in with some friends, challenging Nacho to come up with something different for them to try. Nacho scrambled around the empty restaurant kitchen until he spotted some freshly made tortilla chips. Recalling his foster mother’s quesadillas, he sprinkled cheddar cheese on the chips and crowned them with gleaming slices of pickled jalapeños. A few minutes in the oven, and history was made! Since that fateful day in 1940, celebrities from both sides of the border—even President Lyndon B. Johnson—clamored for a plate of Nacho’s Special. Eighty years later, minus the apostrophe and “special,” people the world over dig happily into servings of cheesy, crunchy, spicy—nachos. Nickel’s thorough research, including communications with the descendants of the principals, brings to life the man behind the world’s favorite cheesy bites. Dominguez’s detailed facial expressions and vibrant, full-bleed, double-page period illustrations successfully capture the people, the era, and its fashions. Nickel’s homage to this congenial, hardworking man and his renowned snack is a celebration of ingenuity and kismet.