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Mole
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-01-04 19:43:57 | Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla, Mexico
Keywords: chicken, chocolate
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.



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