Drop what you’re doing, and go eat nachos.
That’s the important takeaway from today’s Google Doodle, which pays tribute to a true hero who has flown under the radar for far too long: Ignacio Anaya García, the inventor of nachos.
Nachos didn’t just appear at a drunk guy’s bar table one day. Nor did they spring fully formed from the head of Zeus as a new spicy, crunchy, cheesy nectar of the gods. As the animated Doodle shows, nachos were invented back in 1943 in a moment of desperation that led to culinary genius.
The nachos origin story stems from the Club Victoria, a restaurant in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras. According to Google, a group of hungry, perhaps even hangry, women who lived at the U.S. military base in Texas popped into the restaurant and wanted a snack. García was the restaurant’s maitre d’, but when he couldn’t find a chef to cook for the customers, he took matters into his own hands. He grabbed tortilla chips and topped them with cheese and chopped chilis, and nachos were born, revolutionizing bar cuisine forever.
Nacho’s Especiales—nacho being a nickname for Ignacio—were added to the restaurant’s menu and soon grew in popularity at other nearby restaurants. The dish was written up in an American cookbook in 1949, but the apostrophe in Nacho’s was lost as its popularity spread. Its history is commemorated in a bronze plaque that was erected in García’s honor in Piedras Negras, where the International Nacho Festival takes place each year.
The Doodle was illustrated by Mexico City-based guest artist Alfonso de Anda. “This topic was meaningful to me at a gut level, quite literally,” he told Google. “I hope people get an instant craving for a snack after they see the Doodle. I also hope that they instantly drop whatever it is they’re doing and satisfy that craving.”
Sounds like a great idea to me.