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Mole (pron. mole-a) is a series of Mexican sauces that contain ground
chiles, spices, nuts, often chocolate, sometimes raisins, ground
There are three basic types of moles:
1. Mole Poblano (the most famous type, and the one that ALWAYS
contains chocolate) was originated in Pueblo during Colonial times
(Mexican colonial, not ours) by the nuns who wanted to make a special
dish for a visiting Archbishop. The sauce contains ground dried
chile peppers, ground nuts, ground raisins, broth, chocolate,
sometimes ground corn tortillas, a small amount of sugar, and various
spices. It is traditionally served over turkey, with a side dish of
unfilled tamales (just the cornmeal masa steamed in corn shucks.)
It's one of those dishes that rarely finds its way out of the country
of origin, and you either passionately love or passionately hate. I'd
post a recipe if I could find one (Have recipes for all three
versions floating around SOMEWHERE, but never got the time to enter
'em into the computer, so they're a little tough to find). It may
also be purchased pre-made (something I recommend, as the bottled
version is excellent, and this is NOT something you'd want to attack
from scratch on even a semi-regular basis). If Shirley is interested,
I'll pick up a jar and ship it your way.
2. Mole Verde (green mole) contains green chiles, broth, ground
pumpkin seeds, various herbs and spices. It's usually served over
chicken or pork. Nice stuff, and much easier for the beginner to like
than the Mole Poblano.
3. Mole Roja (red mole) is a sauce that contains red chiles, herbs
and spices, ground nuts or seeds, ground corn tortillas, usually no
chocolate. I THINK it comes from the region around Oxaca. Again,
it's marginally easier to like than the more well-known version. It's
usually served over chicken or pork.
All of these dishes are virtual throwbacks to the complex (and to our
palates unusual) combinations of ingredients that were common in that
part of the country before the arrival of the Spaniards. None of the
dishes is particularly hot, they have a complex, haunting flavor that
speaks of cultures long gone, but not entirely forgotten.
Don't know if you'd like 'em or not, Unka Burt (I do), but if you
want just a hint of what I'm talking about, throw a square of
unsweetened chocolate in your next batch of Left-Handed Chili, and
let us know what you think.
From: Kathy Pitts, Bryan, TX
Posted to FIDO Cooking echo by Kathy Pitts from Dec 1, 1994 - Jul 31, 1995.