In recent years, I’ve written a great many words about the concessions at Nats Park, and Verizon Center, and FedEx Field. Although I myself prefer peanuts and cheap domestic beer product during sporting events, I get excited and giddy each time a local team expands its culinary and fermentable choices, giving local fans diversity and excitement and originality at concession booths.
Which maybe explains why reader @matymanuel thought to send me this image of the Baltimore Orioles game program from 1980. It helps explains to newbie foodies what, exactly, “nachos” are.
“Well, nachos are a crispy, tasty Mexican treat, something like a taco,” the text reads. “If you’re looking for a new taste treat, we suggest you try a Memorial Stadium nacho and some tropical fruit punch too.”
Life was simpler then, right? No Saisons or falafel or Elote; just a crispy, tasty Mexican treat, with punch.
Out of curiosity, I looked back through some archives to see if “nachos” were really as foreign as all that in 1980. It seemed that they were getting to be pretty standard by the early ’80s, but they were certainly still weird food in 1977, when wire services described a food poisoning case at a Mexican restaurant.
“Nacho, a Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla, meat, cheese and other ingredients, was the food suspected of causing the illnesses,” the story read.
Around the same time, The Post’s Food section offered suggestions for children’s breakfast options that didn’t involve sugary cereals. One of the recipes was for nachos. Here’s the text:
From the land of Tex-Mex, but without the hot pepper on top.
2 corn tortillas (if frozen, defrost)
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, cut into 8 wedge-shaped pieces
Cut each tortilla into four triangles. Place cheese on top of triangles and run under broiler until cheese melts.
Man, our country was great then. And in 1978, the Globe & Mail went through some MLB concessions.
“A glass of beer is 60 cents at Oakland, but a customer who can’t bear watching the horrible A’s can drown his sorrows in a half gallon of suds for $2,” the paper reported. “At Comiskey Park in Chicago, you can buy a one-ounce shot of whisky for $1.25. Most parks sell specialty items from their concession stands. You can buy bratwurst in Milwaukee or nachos - tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and hot peppers – for the Rangers’ games in Arlington, Tex.”
Shots of whiskey for $1.25 at ballgames. This is why nostalgia exists.