In the world of orange cheese there remains an outlier: Stadium Nacho Cheese. A lonely, rarely discussed and often maligned member of the bright and cheery circus colored cheese family! Nacho cheese is so disparaged it is often doubted that Nacho is even a cheese.
Do not make this simple mistake! While the USDA has no official designation for cheese type Nacho, they do not officially deny its existence either. Frank Liberto, the Father of Nachos, is credited with perfecting nacho cheese and making it widely available to the masses.
Via First We Feast:
While most popular tales of nacho lore jump straight from Piedras Negras to Howard Cosell’s mouth (the man, after all, put the snack on the map during a 1978 Monday Night Football Game at Cowboy’s Stadium), Smith details the key entrepreneurial exploits of Frank Liberto and his Ricos cheese sauce.
Concession stand nachos were introduced in 1976 at a Texas Rangers game. That year, Arlington Stadium sold $800,000 worth of Ricos’ nachos.
Each can of Ricos contain 107 ounces of cheese concoction, with 32 ounces of water and 20 ounces of pepper juice used to form the molten sauce we recognize at the concession stand pump.
Since 1976, the Ricos style of nachos have become a sporting staple. And, taking into consideration the second key point, the profitability of the product is impossible to argue with, especially considering that the spiciness of the jalapeno was employed to boost drink sales as well as add flavor. Liberto’s innovation made nachos fast—Frank didn’t want customers to wait for more than a minute—and famous. Cosell may have propelled the word nacho into national consciousness, but it was Liberto’s business acumen that made chips and cheese a phenomenon. In the 1970s, Disney animators created trailers feature the characters of Nacho, Rico, and Pepe, helping propel Liberto’s empire beyond the ball park and into movie concessions.
KNEEL BEFORE NACHO!