|One of the most typical Mexican dishes known worldwide is the mole. There are about 6 different families of mole in Mexico, coming from various parts of the country. But none is as famous as the one from the city of Puebla: the mole poblano. It's basically a rich and very tasty chocolate sauce that is served usually on chicken or turkey, but can be covering a wide array of dishes.|
Some say it's a recipe that dates back
to the Aztecs, but they reserved chocolate for religious purposes and
never used it in the kitchen apparently. Most people agree it was
created in year 1700 in the convent Santa Rosa (picture below), in
the town of Puebla. The poor nuns were out of money and out of ideas
as to what to serve to the archbishop coming to visit them for
Christmas. They would have thrown in a giant casserole basically all
they had in the kitchen including some chocolate, to make up sauce to
serve with the turkey they had. The guest was pleased with the dish,
and a long and rich tradition was born.
The preparation of the mole is long and
complex, it can involve up to 100 ingredients, including often more
than 10 different varieties of peppers. Other common ingredients are
tomatoes, almonds, nuts, cinnamon, onions and garlic. Each family
has its traditional recipe and it's passed down from one generation
to the other, like the family recipe of pasta sauce in other
countries. It usually has to cook for hours then to be blended into
a smooth cream-like sauce.
Of course, today, you can find mole for
sale in every grocery store in Mexico. It usually comes in the a jar
or can if it's liquid and ready to be served... or as a paste or
powder if it's to be reconstituted before serving. Here in Puebla,
you can find mole in every souvenirs shop in town, usually in the
liquid form, ready to be eaten.
We mostly know the mole to be served
hot over a dish, but it can be eaten cold too. I've had some
empanadas with mole filling. You can also eat mole with tortillas or
any other form of bread.
Mole along with other Mexican
traditional cuisine elements is recognized by the UNESCO as a part of
the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mexico.