You may not be aware, and will undoubtedly be shocked to hear, but Nachonomics was not the first nacho website on the internet. I realize this is hard to believe, knowing as you do about all the many years of in depth nacho reporting that has gone on here, but there was a time when this was not the case. Indeed, there was a time when we did not even exist at all, but there was instead another nacho website people would go to. If it was not the first it was the first that mattered, and that was Nachos NY.
Back when I was a young lad in college with no idea of what making your own website would entail, a friend of mine liked a page on Facebook named “Nachos NY”. Facebook you see had only just come to colleges and was still “a thing” so I wasn’t exactly sure what this was, but liked nachos and decided to check it out. I was entranced. You could make a website on the internet all about nachos and it could be a thing? Why hadn’t I thought of this! Well it was because I was young, dumb, and full of nachos, and more importantly had no idea how to make a website, that’s why.
Nachos NY was a New York City based nacho review website (hence the “NY” part of their name) but every now and then would branch out when either founders Rachel Anderson or Lee Frank would vacation somewhere and try nachos there. It being primarily NYC based, and the fact that NYC is a land of folks who would love nothing more than a website about what nachos were good and has about 0.07% of the world’s population if that episode of Heroes is to be believed, it took off. The sky was the limit for what they could do.
And do they did, with a line of shirts and totes no sane nacho lover could turn down. I still have my “‘Chos before Hoes” shirt hanging around and won a pretty sweet “Avocado&Tomato&Onion&Garlic&Jalapeno&Lime&Cilantro” tote for answering some nacho questions correctly in a contest. I don’t know how fair that was, but I’m the one with the free tote, so I don’t think I can objectively answer that. There were even several “Guac Rock” music and guacamole festivals they created, but nachos reviews, clothing lines, and musical foodstravaganzas weren’t enough for them. There was also Ultimate Nachos: From Nachos and Guacamole to Salsas and Cocktails.
The book, released almost 5 years ago at this point, was the zenith of their work, and also the beginning of the end for Nachos NY. While the website was mostly reviews and humorous asides about nachos in the news the book was a collection of nacho, and other Mexican related food and drink, recipes not seen since Kate Heyhoe’s 2003 book Macho Nachos. It was good, but didn’t really capture the essence of what made Nachos NY great. While it did contain a few comical asides, it was primarily just a cookbook, and not even one devoted entirely to nachos. I don’t know if you even CAN make a cookbook that is nothing but just nacho recipes and have it hold up, so I can’t fault them, I just wanted more Nachos NY.
After the book was released, the postings on the website started to dry up. One could say that with it they said everything there was to say about nachos and there was nothing left for them. I of course would not say that, but after 10 years of nacho writing I get where they would be coming from. Today when you go to NachosNY.com there is just a blank webpage that states “pageok” and their online shop no longer exists. Even the Facebook page hasn’t seen a posting since December of 2017. Perhaps the release of a book was the end goal of the website all along (publishers: the release of a book, while not my end goal, is something I am VERY much interested in) and they reached the peak with that? Who can say.
Nachos NY may be gone, but their legacy lives on, mostly in their book which is still available for purchase, but also in our hearts. I can’t say that there wouldn’t be a Nachonomics today if they didn’t exist, but if probably would have taken a lot longer to come to fruition without the drive of having to be as good as them. I’d like to think that they’d approve of the nacho work we’re doing here today, and maybe, just maybe, one day I’d run into them and we could talk shop over an order of nachos...