Adobo is a piquant spice blend made from ground chiles, herbs and vinegar, named for a centuries-old practice of preserving raw food by immersing it in a stock or sauce made from those ingredients. In the days before refrigeration, ingredients in Adobo Seasoning worked as natural preservatives. Luckily for us, those ingredients were tasty preservatives, too, because even though refrigerators and freezers abound, full-flavored Adobo Seasoning is still used today as a marinade as well as for a cooking and serving sauce.
Originating in Iberia (Spain and Portugal), adobo seasoning today is used in Mexican, Spanish, Latin American, Phillipine and Puerto Rican cooking to flavor a variety of foods before cooking. (Vocabulary bonus: a meat dish marinated or seasoned with an adobo is referred to as adobado or adobada.) Adobo seasoning is spicy without being hot, a flavorful blend for all kinds of meats, poultry, fish and seafood.
Use Adobo Seasoning as a marinade or rub (use about 1 tsp per lb of chicken or pork) before roasting or grilling meats, or use the blend as the base for a sauce to serve with the finished dish. Add a dash of Adobo Seasoning to your guacamole or homemade salsa. Some adobo recipes also include a citrus ingredient such as orange juice and lemon or lime juices, and/or a little sweet ingredient like brown sugar, to offset any hot or bitter taste.