Few things take us down memory lane faster than the smell of food. And Google knows it. In its March 15 Doodle, the search engine paid tribute to Filipino adobo, a popular dish in the archipelago and worldwide.

“Adobo” is a word common to several cuisines around the world. It is a method of marinating and stewing any cut of meat. It usually includes vinegar, soy sauce, and spices, although it varies greatly depending on the region.

Filipino adobo, in particular, consists of chicken meat and a unique bay leaf flavor.

The meat is marinated and stewed in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. The result is usually served on a bed of fluffy rice to enjoy the sauce twice.

Does it have anything to do with adobo as we Latinos know it?

Yes, and no.

When the Spanish invaded and settled in the Philippines during the 16th century, they learned the methods of preserving food from the Filipinos.

Among them is adobo.

Adobo uses the acid in vinegar and the high salt content of soy sauce to create an undesirable environment for bacteria.

Its delicious taste only made it even more famous.

As was customary for the colonists, the Spanish changed the name of the cooking method and called it adobo — the Spanish word for marinade.

In Latin America, and with the syncretism of cultures, the methods already possessed by the indigenous people to preserve food merged with the adobo brought by the Spaniards.

In Mexico, it became a condiment that includes Chipotle and Ancho chiles. Similarly, in Peru, it is a spicy broth with chicha de guiñapo, aji panca, and other seasonings.

In Venezuela, it is a mixture of salt with various spices, and in Uruguay, it is something similar, but with the addition of parsley and peppers.

In any case, adobo is a source of pride

The illustration created by artist Anthony Irwin for the March 15 Google Doodle shows two children inspiring chicken aroma, typical of the Filipino dish.

“Growing up in the U.S., I didn’t want my food to be special. I didn’t want to feel different. I just wanted to be like everyone else,” the artist said about his Doodle. “For children of immigrants, our relationship with our parents’ food is a complex one. On one hand, my mother’s cooking made me feel like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. It felt special and safe and warm. But on the other hand, most kids just want to fit in.”

Now, as an adult, Irwin says he takes every opportunity to be proud of and celebrate his identity.

“I can claim Filipino food as a part of my culture and celebrate the connection it creates between my mother’s identity and my own.”