There's a case to be made for pizza as the world's most perfect food. When you've got bread, sauce and cheese, there's not a whole lot to complain about. Plus, it can be topped with just about anything, it's portable and it's loved the world over. Pizza is certainly one of the world's most perfect foods, but I think in the Game of Perfect Foods, there's a new contender for the crown: Sir Nacho of the Cheesy Crunchy Islands.
I'm not telling you anything you don't know. You already love nachos. Everyone does. Find me one person that doesn't like nachos and I'll add that person to my list of people who don't know what they're talking about. The list, by the way, is topped by my 6th grade social studies teacher. Gurl, if you don't understand Roman numerals, don't try to teach them to me. But I digress. My point is that nachos are an internationally beloved food, but they don't get the cred they deserve. That's because people are narrow-minded and only think of nachos as purely Mexican. To the layman, they're just tortilla chips topped with cheese, meat and other staples of the Mexican pantry. To the culinary genius, though, nachos are a canvas on which art is made and their versatility is the key to their success.
Think about it. Nachos are just like pizza…but better. The bread's there in the form of chips. The sauce is there as salsa. The cheese is…well, cheese. Those toppings you put on pizza? Pretty much applicable to nachos as well. The difference, though, is that pizza has a ceiling. You can try for a spicy hummus/haloumi/lamb pizza and it might work just fine, but as nachos that creation soars. Just swap out the traditional tortilla chips for pita chips and you're in business. You want some Caribbean nachos? Throw some jerk chicken and mustardy hot sauce from St. Croix on crispy breadfruit chips. Barbeque Nachos (B.B.Chos, if you will) sound good? Brisket plus barbeque sauce plus Monterey Jack, and you're in business. The only limit to nacho innovation is your own imagination. (But if you need some help coming up with creative nacho recipes, just check out the Ultimate Nachos recipes that Food Republic has been pimping out.)
Eating is all about sharing, and nachos fall at the very top of the shareable food pyramid. With the aforementioned pizza, you can share a whole pie with a couple of pals and it's not an issue. If you're at a table with a bunch of friends, though, and everyone wants to “just try a slice” (a.k.a. the pizza equivalent of “just the tip”), you'll be left with barely any pizza left for yourself. Nachos, though, are designed with sharing in mind. Give away 10 chips and you're still left with a nacho-tastic feast to enjoy all to yourself. Better yet, order up some nachos as your appetizer and everyone gets to ease into the meal in style. There's no regret, no sharer's remorse. Just a table of people having fun with the world's most perfect food.
It's time that nachos have their day. We need to band together and celebrate this modern marvel for the goodness that it has brought to the world. There are pizzerias all over the world, but nacho shops aren't even a reality? That's preposterous. We need to get a Chipotle-style nachoria up and running as soon as possible. Pick your chip, pick your protein, pick your sauces and toppings. It's a goldmine waiting to happen. Now who's going to create a Kickstarter and give me a cut of the profits?
Try out these nachos recipes on Food Republic: