Friday, September 6, 2013

Buenos Nachos

We all know that there are certain manners that we are supposed to use while eating. Chew with your mouth closed, don’t put your elbows on the table, put your phone away, and so on. Since childhood these rules associated with eating have ingrained themselves into our mind, and we often follow them on autopilot.  When we are out somewhere nice for dinner, a guest at someone’s houses, or a holiday we tend to adhere to these polite manners more than usual.  But, when out with friends or a casual dinner- you will often see elbows on the table, and quite a few remarks made with a mouthful of food.

But, there is something that we are not taught from childhood.  It is pretty important. Failing to follow the rules could become just downright awkward.

Nacho Etiquette.

Picture this. You and some friends are out having drinks one day, or maybe you are at a meeting with some folks from work.

You decide to share the nachos.  The waitress brings them to your table, and sets the heaping mound of cheese covered chips on the table. But now what? This isn’t like pizza, where all pieces are created equally. No, absolutely not. There always is that one chip in the very middle of the plate that is just loaded with cheese, sometimes referred to as the “Mother  Nacho.”  More cheese than any other chip, with a healthy dose of peppers, meat, onions, jalapenos.

You are all eyeballing it, everybody wants it.
When you are eating them by yourself, of course you are going to take it first.  But what about when you are with others? Is it worth incurring the wrath of your fellow diners?  What is a nacho lover to do?

Should you take it? Or do you start on the side closest to yourself, and race to the cheesy centre? Apparently, it is polite to take the chips closest to you, making sure not to touch other people’s chips with your grubby hands.

Another oft debated facet of Nacho etiquette is double dipping. Of course it makes the most sense if everyone dishes their salsa, guac and sour cream on to their own plates. But, you know as well as I do, that it just isn’t the same. You just can’t scoop it, it just scoots to the other side of the plate and makes a big mess.  The little dishes they give you are perfect for dunking, even if they are communally shared.  So, if you aren’t dishing out onto separate plates, what is the deal?  Are you allowed to dip in salsa, and then the sour cream, or the salsa and then the guac? Are you really only allowed one fabulous dunk per chip?  I think that it is acceptable, though you should generally ask your fellow diners first if they care. As long as you haven’t put it in your mouth yet, a little splat of salsa in the guacamole really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Do you follow any kind of nacho etiquette?  If you aren’t sure, it might be a good idea to grab some friends and co-workers and go find out.

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