Boycotting Goya? Try These Alternative Brands for Latin Pantry Staples

There's No Shortage of Makers to Support

sazon spices from loisa

Loisa

If it’s good, it doesn’t have to be Goya. Goya Foods is a staple brand in many Latin American kitchens and a go-to for home cooks of all backgrounds, but CEO Robert Unanue's recent public support of President Donald Trump has led many to #BoycottGoya. Are you clearing your pantry of Goya products and looking for other brands and producers to support? There are many multicultural and Latinx brands that offer blended spices, sauces, beans, and more—many made without preservatives, additives, extra sugar, or chemicals. Plus, these swaps are easy on your wallet, too.

Here are some delicious #GoyaAlternatives for you to get cooking with right now. 

Adobo Seasoning

If you can eat it, you can (probably) put adobo on it. Adobo seasoning may be the number one essential in the Latin American Holy Trinity. It’s a savory, all-purpose product in every Latinx pantry used from grilling, roasting, frying, or sautéing and as a base seasoning for meats, fish, stews, sauces, beans, soup stock, and vegetables.

This particular foundational blended seasoning of salt, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, and oregano comes organic from Loisa, a Latin-owned small business. Their adobo is certified organic by the Department of Agriculture, as well as non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free.

Dietitian Karin Arias of Sabroso Healthy Vibes in the Bronx, New York, makes a salt-free adobo blend. Arias wanted to create an adobo mix to combat the prevalence of high blood pressure in the Latinx and Bronx communities.

Sazón

Another member of the Holy Trinity, sazón is known for its distinctive savory taste and adds a red-brown color to food. This popular spice blend is traditionally of achiote (annatto), salt, cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Puerto Rican chef Eric Rivera of Seattle’s award-winning addo and Lechoncito currently offers three types of sazón through his online pantry to add color and flavor to your meats, fish, poultry, soups, and stews: a traditional sazón, saffron sazón, and spicy sazón. He also sells beans, rice, sofrito, mojo, adobo, flan, chili oil, and more.

Loisa also offers an organic version of sazón sans fillers and MSG.

Sofrito (Recaito)

Arguably, the third member of the Holy Trinity is sofrito, a foundational tomato-based sauce of pesto consistency used for flavoring meats, fish, stews, beans, and rice. Think of it like a mirepoix in French cuisine.

It's generally composed of tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell peppers of all colors, achiote, cilantro, oregano, or parsley. Sofrito styles vary slightly country by country. Rather than bust out your cazuela, Badia makes a ready-to-cook sofrito. La Reyna Puerto Rican sofrito can be found at many grocery stores. 

Hot Sauce

Born in Brooklyn, Pisqueya is an MSG and preservative-free hot sauce based on a recipe passed-down through a family of Dominican cooks. There’s something for everyone along the Scolville scale, from Smoky Hot to Medium Buzz and Spicy Sweet. Pisqueya is available in the United States and the Dominican Republic.

Masarepa

If you need a stand in for a yellow or white cornmeal, look towards P.A.N. (Producto Alimenticio Nacional) masarepa. Masarepa is a pre-cooked and finely ground corn flour (harina de maíz refinada precocida). Other common brands include Areparina and Harina Juana.

Beans

Rancho Gordo dried beans are a favorite with home cooks and food bloggers; the brand specializes in heirloom beans and focuses on products indigenous of the Americas. Lauded for their flavor and creaminess, the extra cooking time is well worth it. Rancho Gordo offers dried black beans, pinto beans, and garbanzos.

Iberia is another dried (and canned) bean brand alternative. La Prefrerida is a popular Mexican brand that offers refried beans (in organic, low-fat, and vegetarian) and gandules (pigeon peas) in addition to canned and dried.

Chiles (Dried, Powdered, and Canned)

Get your dried and powdered anchos, chipotles, guajillo and more with Rancho Gordo (again!). For chiles chipotle in adobo, check out Spice House or the supermarket-ready La Costeña or La Morena. 

Coconut Water

If your fridge is always stocked with coconut water, try Vita Coco. Their coconut water is 100 percent coconut water, not from concentrate, and uses less than 1 percent fruit sugar. They’re also certified non-GMO and gluten-free, kosher, and cruelty-free. Vita Coco recently launched a virtual bodega that consumers nationwide can shop to give back to Latinx bodega owners at the epicenter of the pandemic. With every consumer purchase from the virtual bodega, Vita Coco Coconut Water will buy breakfast sandwiches from New York City bodegas to donate to healthcare workers. 

Mojo Marinade

Mojo is a garlicky citrus marinade that’s fantastic for punching up meats, poultry, and seafood with Caribbean zest. Badia, La Flor, La Lechonera and La Preferida bottles up this mojo so you can be ready to douse, marinade, and grill.

Coffee

Latin America boasts some of the best coffees in the world. Start your morning with a cup of Colombian-owned and sourced single origin beans from Devocíon and Latin American-grown and sourced Cervantes. Many Latin households also stock up on Cuba original Café Pilon and American-owned (but Cuban-style) Café Bustelo.