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  • Writer's pictureOne Good Knife Spices

Adobo Seasoning - Can the REAL Adobo please stand up!

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

Oven Roasted Adobo Chicken

I can only assume a lot of you were like me, unaware and oblivious to adobo. Far away from Kenya, adobo and I never crossed paths until the move to the United States. Landing in Florida means an overnight crash course on not only American culture but Latin American as well. And it is here I got my first exposure to a spice blend called Adobo. Goya is the leading brand when it comes to making the famous Puerto Rican styled Adobo. They have many varieties from with or without pepper, paprika, turmeric and the list goes on....

As I came to learn of this blend I hoped the internet would educate me more. I discovered Puerto Rico isn't the only country that has an Adobo! Interesting right? Adobo comes from the Spanish verb called Adobar meaning marinade. Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and as far as the Philippines has a form of Adobo of their own.

True to each country and its local ingredients, Adobo takes on different flavors. Remember it really is a marinade right? So how did Puerto Rico have a seco Adobo seasoning? Seco means dry in Spanish.

Here is where things get interesting. Goya and Adobo, with most Puerto Ricans, are synonymous. In 1903 a Spanish immigrant, Prudencio Unanue, moved to Puerto Rico and later to the United States. In 1936 established Goya in New York. They imported Spanish foods and products into the country. In 1966 Adobo seasoning mix was created by Goya. Due to the large Hispanic population in the United States their products became extremely popular. New York has a large Puerto Rican population and the Adobo seasoning was well used within the communities and also sent to Puerto Rico, a USA territory. And now a staple in almost all Puerto Rican households.

As for why The Philippines have Adobo? The Philippines was a colony of Spain. Even the name of the country is derived from the Spanish king Phillip II. It is the hundreds of years of Spanish rule that influenced their local culture, language and food. Adobo in The Philippines is a local marinade for meats and vegetables. They use the word Adobo but it isn't related to the Spanish marinades.

So now we all walk away alittle bit wiser to the ways of Adobo. Marinade or a seasoning mix, it is an injection of flavors, tenderness and culture. I suppose no Adobo reigns supreme and all Adobos are the real McCoy in their respective cultures.


Oven Roasted Adobo Chicken

Serves 3-4


2 pounds Chicken drumsticks (about 6 pieces)

2 tablespoons Avocado oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 bunch cilantro, minced

1 lime, quartered


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a large bowl toss the chicken with the oil, adobo seasoning and salt.

  3. Evenly coat each piece. Set aside for 30 mins.

  4. Spread the chicken on the large sheet tray.

  5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-50 mins. Check internal temperature for 165 degrees F.

  6. Serve with cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

*We've constantly believed your foods should taste great while nourishing you. Our blend does not add salt, preservatives or any fillers to ensure all that is being enjoyed is pure flavor.

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