Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mole

Do you know about Mole sauce? It is a famous sauce used in Mexican cooking that contains chilis and chocolate. It is something you must eat if you visit Oaxaca and it is divine! I searched my pictures of Oaxaca and couldn't find any specifically of mole, though they sell it in the markets. It looks like a huge pile of black mud and they will scoop you out a big plastic bag full to take home and cook up to serve over enchiladas or chicken. I did find this photo of a chocolate shop in Oaxaca that advertises "mole negro" (black mole).

Those are roasted cacao beans in the tubs and everything on the shelves is something made from chocolate.

As I am thinking about this challenge I keep going back to Mexican chocolate and the Aztecs and Toltecs and chocolate with chilis or chocolate with cinnamon. Gotta get a little color into that brown scheme!

8 comments:

Nikki said...

My kids are currently studing the Aztecs in our homeschool curriculm. Maybe I'll find some inspiration here.

Kristin L said...

I tried to make mole once. It sure has a lot of ingredients. Good though!

I've been thinking about the chocolate museum we visited in Cologne a while ago, and the Aztecs have been on my mind as well. I think i'm moving forward a few centuries though. May have to go back to the chocolate museum for some research. Best if I do it before Xmas maybe. They have a wonderful gift store.

Gerrie said...

According to a Mexican food expert, my son, mole does not usually contain chocolate. He told me this with great authority when we were out for dinner last month in SF. I did not know this. (she said with her best Johnny Carson imititation)

Terry said...

Gerrie, tis true that "mole" in Spanish is actually a generic word for sauce and most don't contain chocolate.

Oaxaca is famous for Mole Negro (black mole) which is made from chocolate, so in many places in Mexico if you ask for mole, it is generally understood that you are asking for the kind with the chocolate in it. And that is the kind of mole that is served in most Mexican restaurants in the US. There are lots of variations on chocolate moles.

We have bought the mole with chocolate in Mexican groceries here. It comes in a jar and is not nearly as good as what we ate in Mexico! Kristin, I keep looking at mole recipes and have been put off by the number of ingrediants.

Diane said...

My friend and housecleaner Rosalia is a native of Mexico, and for the past few years her Christmas gift to me has been a large container of her family's traditional mole sauce. They use cocoa in theirs, and it is delicious! Thanks to Rosalia, we have chicken mole for New Year's Day!

magsramsay said...

Mole with chocolate(or cocoa) is Mole Peublano named for Puebla where it originates ( or so the inhabitants claim)They didn't make it at home but bought the paste at specialist stalls at the market.
I taught an orchid course at the University there ten years ago and ate gallons of the stuff! The richness is a bit overwhelming - the best version was when there was just a bit of it rolled in an enchilada. At the end of the course the awards ceremony was held at Africam - a safari park . Quite a surreal experience.

Terry said...

OK, I can't stand it! I either need to find a friendly, generous Mexican housecleaner or learn to make mole myself. Diane's Christmas present has my mouth watering. I think I have a Mexican cookbook around here somewhere . . .

Diane said...

Well, what started the mole-giving was that I asked for her recipe, and she said it was so complicated that she only made it as an annual family event with her mother-in-law. I guess they make a massive batch and then divide it up. I know it involves plantains, too.