Adobo –The Most Essential Caribbean Seasoning
“What’s the one seasoning no kitchen can be without?” This question could yield a varied series of good answers throughout the Caribbean. In my childhood home of St Croix, though, 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 Saint Croix.
What is Adobo?
Adobo is a wonderfully balanced mix of spices, none overpowering the others. In the Caribbean, it is used extensively to marinate and season meats and fish. The dry form 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.
Good on Everything
I personally use adobo in everything from red beans and rice to grilled steak, chicken, roast pork, and even 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 piquant taste of home every time.
Where to Buy
Unlike some of the other products we’ve featured, Adobo is also pretty easy to find in the USA. Goya products, after all, are widely available just about everywhere. You can also order it online here, or try this recipe to make your own at home.