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Who is Ignacio Anaya García? Google celebrates birth of man who gave us nachos

Happy birthday, Ignacio Anaya García. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps you’ll recognize his nickname — Nacho. 

García, who was born 124 years ago today, created one of the world’s favorite snacks when a group of American women came into the restaurant where he worked.

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The women were wives of soldiers stationed at nearby Eagle Pass Army Airbase. They were looking for a bite to eat, but García couldn’t find the chef. So he sliced some jalepenos onto some tortilla chips, then melted some grated Wisconsin cheese over it. He called the snack Nachos especiales. That was 1943.

“Word soon spread about the Nachos especiales, which were added to the Club Victoria menu, imitated around town, and written up in an American cookbook as early as 1949,” Google states on its website. “By 1960, García had opened his own restaurant, El Nacho.”

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“It's just a snack to keep my customers happy and well-fed,” García reportedly said when asked why he didn’t patent his creation. “It's like any other border dish.”

But the creator of any other border dish doesn’t have his own festival. Each October, Piedras Negras hosts the International Nacho Festival, and the town has erected a plaque in García’s honor.

Mexico City-based artist Alfonos de Anda created Google’s doodle to honor García.

“This topic was meaningful to me at a gut level, quite literally,” he told Google.

Google’s doodle tradition began in 1998 when, according to the company itself, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin played around with the corporate logo “to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.”

Now there is an entire team of illustrators bringing biographies, history and interesting tidbits to life on Google’s homepage.

Here is a look back at some of the more popular doodles we’ve written about:

Explore more doodles at google.com/doodles.

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