Every Topic Every Day

Celebrating Chilaquiles: Google Doodle Honors Beloved Mexican Breakfast Dish

If you jump online Thursday morning, May 23, without eating breakfast, you’re likely to develop a big appetite once you see the latest Google Doodle. Illustrated by Oakland-based artist Chava Oropesa, today’s Doodle celebrates the beloved Mexican breakfast dish, chilaquiles. The term “chilaquiles” translates to “chilis and greens” in the Aztec language Nahuatl, highlighting its deep cultural roots.

Chilaquiles, a dish born out of resourcefulness, involves repurposing stale corn tortillas by cutting them into strips, frying them, and then sautéing them in salsa. This dish, steeped in tradition, is typically garnished with a combination of cream, queso fresco, onions, and avocados. Its widespread popularity can be attributed to its simple yet flavorful preparation, making it a staple in Mexican households and restaurants.

Chava Oropesa, the artist behind the Doodle, felt a personal connection to the project. “Being Mexican-born and raised, our food feels like a part of my DNA. Chilaquiles is one of those dishes I grew up with,” Oropesa shared. “Being able to represent and create around the subject was very personal and special.”

The challenge for Oropesa was to create an illustration that would be instantly recognizable and evocative of the dish’s essence. To achieve this, he incorporated Mexican pink, or Rosa Mexicano, a color synonymous with Mexican culture. Additionally, he used a Talavera plate, a traditional Mexican ceramic, and creatively cut tortillas into letters and fried them, adding depth and texture to the artwork.

Oropesa’s inspiration came from his childhood memories, such as his aunt bringing chilaquiles to the family’s annual New Year’s celebration and the freshness of his mother’s salsa verde. “I’ve had chilaquiles thousands of times,” he said. “That feeling stayed with me during the whole process. I want to make people crave chilaquiles, spark the memory of having them, or the curiosity to want to try them.”

Chilaquiles have a rich history that dates back to ancient Aztec times, with the first known American introduction by Encarnación Pinedo in her 1898 cookbook, “The Spanish Cook.” Today, the dish is enjoyed across Mexico and the southwestern United States, with variations that reflect regional differences.

The Doodle, featuring chilaquiles, aims to honor this culturally significant dish. The animated illustration showcases fried tortilla strips garnished with the typical toppings, all set against a vibrant pink backdrop. The use of a traditional Talavera plate further roots the artwork in Mexican heritage.

Oropesa expressed both excitement and a sense of responsibility when asked to create the Doodle. “My first reaction, I thought it was a prank! I could not believe it, I had to read the email I received a couple of times to be able to reply,” he recounted. “Once I realized how real it was I felt very lucky to be selected to work on this Doodle and I also felt a huge sense of responsibility to deliver a good end result.”

The response to the Doodle has been overwhelmingly positive, with many users sharing their own experiences and fond memories of chilaquiles. This celebration of chilaquiles is more than just a nod to a popular dish; it’s a tribute to the rich cultural heritage and culinary traditions of Mexico.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More