Foodpaths

Mexican Mole sauces

The mole sauces are an important part of the Mexican, traditional cuisine and are used in order to be served along with hot pots with turkey, chicken, pork or beef. Dark chocolate, «fits in» very well with the Mexican spices and the result is a full-bodied flavor.

The word mole comes from the molli, the Aztec word for sauce. The Nahua tribe has in her tradition, a mixture called mōlli, sauce, or chīlmōlli, chili sauce. The mollis sauces  were traditionally used for a number of dishes with meat, fish , bush meat and vegetables.

There are many myths about their origin. One of them claims that the first mole sauce was created for the first time in a monastery, in Puebla, in the first colonial period. The nuns, hearing about the archbishop’s visit , panic-stricken cause the monastery was poor, prayed for a recipe and used all the ingredients they had, including in them chili peppers, spices, stale bread, nuts and a little bit of chocolate. Τhey butchered the only turkey they had and served it along with sauce. The archbishop was excited and when he asked the name of the dish, the nuns named it mole.

Some people claim, that it is about ancient recipes and others that they were imposed on local people. It may be a coincidence, the word “mōlli” is similar to the Portuguese molho, that means sauce. The truth for their development will probably never be revealed, as the first recipes appeared in written form, after the war for the independence of Mexico in 1810.

The modern, mole sauces are ingredient mixtures of North America, Europe and Africa, making them the first international dishes, that were created in the American continent. However, their base remains local. The simple chili sauces preexisted, while the more complicated are subsequent. In the first place, they didn’t contain chocolate, which was used as a beverage and it is not mentioned to be added in a food. The idea of using chocolate in a cooked meal, was probably frightening for the Aztecs —like the Christians could never use the wine of communion, in order to make chicken stewed with red wine.

Today, many cookbook writers consider that a specific dish, the famous pavo in mole poblano, that contains chocolate, consists the highlight of the traditional Mexican cuisine. However, the origin of the dish and the sauce is from the Colonial Puebla de Los Angeles, this beautiful city, which, contrary to the rest cities of central Mexico, has no roots from the Aztecs, nor the dish itself.

In the first molli sauce, more and different ingredients were added, depending on the region. In the contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, from which, some of them differ a lot with the others ,like the: : black, red/colorado, yellow, green, almendrado, de olla, huaxmole, guacamole and the pipián.

Each year in September in San Pedro Atocpan, near to the city of Mexico, the National Mole Fair is organized, where thousands of fans are gathered and hundreds of chefs, that are called moleros as well. Many of the recipes that are made, require two and three days of preparation.

Mole dishes are festive dishes in Mexico. They are served in special occasions, like marriages and quinceaneras, party for the birthday of the 15-year-old girls. Every traditional Mexican, has her own mole sauce recipe, that she inherited from her mother.  For those of you, who decided to taste her, be equipped with lots of napkins. When you put your hot tortillas inside her, you’re definitely going to have a little bit of her in your clothes, hands and your nails. But it doesn’t matter, cause this means that you have enjoyed it!