Taste of the Caribbean: You, Marriage Material? Not Without Adobo
I have no scientific data to back this up (my subscription to Cosmo lapsed years ago), but I imagine that in general, men tend to have less of a laundry list of criteria for determining whether or not a woman is marriage material than our more practical female counterparts.
Certainly, the majority of us guys live in the “here and now” when it comes time to pop the Big Question, placing far greater emphasis on our mate’s looks and sexual appetite than the actual preview of what’s to come in your Golden Years.
You know, that time when the looks, and by extension the sex, begin to fade?
Yes, I’m talking about your mother-in-law, otherwise known as the woman your sexy, sex-charged wife will some day become.
(I’d like to pause now as a means of apology to those married male readers who had heretofore not considered this reality.)
For most Caribbean men, a third factor right up there with looks and sex is food. A woman just isn’t good marriage material in the Caribbean if she can’t cook. Or, so I learned while attending a party back when I was growing up in St. Croix.
A few of my male friends were discussing the topic of marriage with a group of women; some local, some from the States. At one point, one of the guys asked, “What’s the one seasoning no kitchen can be without?”
Now, this question could yield a varied series of good answers throughout the Caribbean, but in the circle of friends I ran with in St. Croix, there could be only one: Adobo.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a meat or poultry dish anywhere in Latin America, then you’ve probably enjoyed a taste of Adobo. It’s more of a Spanish thing, but as with Noche Buena, Coquito and other Puerto Rico traditions, Adobo enjoys an adopted home in St. Croix.
A wonderfully balanced mix of spices, none overpowering the others, Adobo is used a lot in marinating and seasoning meats and fish. The dry form, like the Goya brand pictured here, is usually comprised of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, dry oregano and lemon zest, adding a nice bit of spice to any meat dish.
I personally use Adobo in everything from red beans & rice, to grilled steak, chicken, roast pork and hamburgers. For maximum effect, rub the Adobo into your meat prior to baking, grilling, frying, etc. Then, sprinkle more on according to taste as the cooking progresses. For me, it’s a guaranteed spicy taste of home every time.
Unlike some of the other products we’ve featured in previous Taste of the Caribbean posts, Adobo is also pretty easy to find in the U.S., as Goya products are widely available. You can also order it online here, or try this recipe to make your own at home.
Getting back to my friend’s question, all but one of the women answered Adobo. The lone dissenter chose Mrs. Dash. As far as I know, that lone woman is still single…