What are nachos? Let’s start with the technical definition…..
Merriam Webster definition of nacho(s): Nacho (plural nachos): a tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often additional savory toppings (such as hot peppers or refried beans)
Nachos can consist of many different ingredients. For now, I want to focus on the most traditional options. Most begin with the aforementioned tortilla chip, but sometimes you will find potato chips, tater tots, flatbread or some other base. While I prefer the traditional tortilla chip base, I do enjoy trying out other variations and am sometimes pleasantly surprised.
Next we have the melted cheese component, with Mexican nachos it is usually a white cheese (queso). There are many other variations, probably the most popular option is the orange liquid cheese and while I’m not sure this is actually cheese (think Velveeta cheese food or Cheez Whiz), it can be quite tasty. While these are the most prominent choices I have seen many other types of cheese used. Then there is often an additional grated cheese of some kind added on top, again most often it will be the Mexican-style white cheese, but may also include cheddar, blue, American, mozzarella or really any other hard cheese that may be grated or crumbled.
The next important component for me is the meat selection. My very favorite is ground beef (think taco meat), refried beans or chili. For a vegetarian take you can stick with just cheese and vegetable toppings (more info to come) or you could have beans – black or refried are often on the menu. Some other choices include: pulled pork, pulled or grilled chicken, carnitas (Mexican braised or roasted pork served in small pieces), or steak.
Now it’s time to get really creative with the additional toppings. My favorites are jalapeno peppers, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and chopped tomato or pico de gallo (unless it is too heavy with onions). I don’t like raw onions, so that is a common topping that I avoid as well as cilantro.
So now you’ve had a basic lesson on nachos. I look forward to continuing to share my nacho experiences with Nachos Around the World. I hope you will follow me!