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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.