What Does Adobo Taste Like?

by Charlie
Chicken adobo

Adobo is the ultimate spice for marinating. It is coined from the word “adobar”, which means to marinate in Spanish. Sometimes, it is called Adobado, which means any food item that has been marinated with adobo. This is quite popular in Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean kitchens.

Adobo is well known in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, so you must have come across it in convenience stores. The brand Goya has more than 8 varieties of adobo. If you have been wondering what it tastes like and how you could use it in your kitchen, this article is just right for you.

What does adobo taste like? If there is one thing every variant of adobo has in common, it is the taste. Generally, adobo tastes like an earthy blend of classic savory flavors. It is salty and spicy, with a blend of garlic in some cases. The presence of paprika gives it its signature heat.

Adobo seasoning should not be mistaken for the Philippine dish known as adobo. That is just one dish, and we are talking about a blend of ingredients and spices that has created a unique seasoning like the adobo. 

Before we go into the culinary uses of adobo, we need to highlight its health benefits to the human body.

Nutritional Benefits of Adobo

The nutritional benefits of adobo are surprisingly plentiful. Adobo contains minerals like iron and calcium. This can be attributed to oregano that is present in adobo. Oregano also provides high levels of manganese. All these minerals are important to keep the body functioning properly. Calcium, for example, is good for bone structure and dentition. 

Oregano is the lone herb in adobo, so it contains Vitamin K. If the variety of adobo you lay hands contains black pepper, there would be more vitamin K in the mix. Oregano and black pepper also contain dietary fiber which aids with digestion. There are also antibacterial compounds in oregano that could help prevent food poisoning by killing off bacteria.

Adobo also contains cumin. The presence of cumin in adobo means that it could help manage or prevent diabetes.

Oregano has a lot of nutritional benefits and adobo has enough of it. There are compounds present in oregano that may help to reduce the spread and progression of certain kinds of cancers, especially breast cancer. 

Black pepper also contains antioxidants that can prevent the development of cancer cells by protecting the cells against free radical damage. Adding adobo to your diet could do a lot of good to one’s body over time.

Culinary Uses of Adobo

When adobo was first used, it contained paprika which has antioxidants with properties that can reduce spoilage. It was awesome for keeping your meat for as long as possible before it goes bad. But now, adobo is used more for seasoning and marinating meat instead of preservation.

Adobo can be in the form of a dry or wet rub. Regardless of your choice, adobo can be used to marinate the meat before you grill it. The use of adobo in the kitchen is not confined to meat alone. Adobo can be used in rice, soups, and stews. 

Adobo can also be added to a sauce or used to make a thick sauce that is usually red and spicy. This sauce can then be paired with rotisserie chicken or used to simmer meat. 

Other food items like fish, seafood, pork, or shellfish could also use some seasoning with adobo before you go on to cook them. Beans and baked potatoes are also not an exception. Adobo can be used as an all-time seasoning depending on how you make it or what went into the making.

History of Adobo? Where Can You Procure It?

The origin of adobo is complex. Before refrigeration came into being, adobo mixtures were salt and vinegar mix that is used to preserve meat. There are Spanish, Mexican, and some other origins when it comes to adobo. 

The Spanish influence of the Mexican adobo is there because of the Spanish colonization. The Mexican adobo is similar to the Spanish adobo, but it is thick and more like a sauce or paste. The Spanish adobo on the other hand is a mix of spices and herbs that are used as a seasoning.

Adobo also has roots in Puerto Rican and Dominican dishes. It is used as a seasoning for various food items, basically whatever it can be paired with. In recent times, adobo has been adapted and worked on by several brands and is being sold commercially. If you walk into any large convenience store or market, go to the spice and seasoning section to get your bottle of adobo.

Is there MSG in Adobo?

Sometimes there can be MSG in adobo One can not certify the ingredients in the makeup of the different adobo-making brands. Many companies make and sell adobo seasoning, many of them use MSG in their seasoning, some don’t. 

MSG is monosodium glutamate and it has been associated with various forms of toxicity.

Facts You Don’t About Adobo

  • The name adobo was given by Spanish colonists because the cooking methods that were being used were similar to theirs.
  • The Portuguese variant of adobo is known as Carne de vinha d’alhos.
  • Meat that is marinated with adobo is known as adobado or adobada 
  • In Peru specifically in the area of Arequipa, adobo is known as a Peruvian dish. In the Philippines, adobo is their unofficial national dish.

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