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    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

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    Preparing Lobster for Competition

Mexican Cuisine- The many Moles of Mexico

by Astrid Burkle

I personally love moles, but honestly I like some of them better than others. My favorite is the Mole Blanco (white mole) not very famous or popular yet, then the Mole Negro, (black mole) which is one of the Oaxacan varieties, Mole Poblano.

You may have a recipe for a mole but each time one is prepared each chili and seed gives the mole its own flavor, aroma and thickness. No two moles are ever alike or taste exactly the same. The chilies in the sauce are not going to have same "picante", (spice or heat). Chilies of the same type may be hotter, bigger or thicker so recipe amounts do not produce the same results.

The 7 Moles
Oaxaca has the largest variety of moles.
They are:
  • Coloradito
  • Rojo
  • Mancha Manteles
  • Verde
  • Amarillo
  • Chicilo
  • Negro.

Coloradito:
It has a brick red color and a simple taste. The ingredients are: chili ancho, chili pasilla, tomato, garlic, salt sesame, almonds, cinnamon, oregano, and sugar. This mole doesn't have chocolate in it.

Mole Rojo:
This is spicier and with a more defined flavor. The ingredients are: Chocolate, dry chili guajillo, dry chili ancho, onion, tomato, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, pecans, peanuts and sesame.

Mole Mancha Manteles:
Simple to prepare, but with a strong flavor of chili ancho. The ingredients are: tomato, garlic, onion, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, almonds and chili ancho. What makes this mole special is that it is served with sautéed sliced plantains and pineapple.

Mole Verde:
This is very light and has a very herbal flavor. Its ingredients are: green tomatillo, green tomato, green chili, onion, garlic, cumin, black pepper, cloves. It is thickened with corn dough. It gets it aroma and flavor from hoja santa, epazote and parsley. It is served with chayotes, green and white beans.

Mole Amarillo:
This mole has an interesting flavor. Its ingredients are: green tomato, green tomatillo, onion, garlic, cumin, black pepper, cloves, chilcoxle, chili ancho, chili guajillo, and chili costeño. This mole is also thickened with corn dough and to give it flavor and aroma hoja santa leaves, cilantro, and pitiona are added at the end. Traditionally if it is served with chicken hoja santa leaves should be added. If it is prepared with pork cilantro and if it is prepared with game or beef it goes with pitiona. It is served with spring onions, lemon, oregano, salt and slices of chili de agua.

Mole Chichilo:
Is a very spectacular mole. The ingredients are: chili chilguacle negro, chili pasilla, chili mulatto, green tomatillo, tomato, marjoram, allspice, black pepper and cloves. It is thickened with corn dough. To give it the essential touch tortillas and the seeds of all the chilies are toasted until ash and then added to the dish.
This gives it a strong flavor of chili and ash. This mole is very different in its flavor and is not appreciated by all palates. Its aroma comes from avocado leaves. It is served with chayote and green beans and it is accompanied by spring onions, lemon, oregano, and slices of chili de agua.

Mole Negro:
The most complex of moles. It has six kinds of chilies and their toasted seeds; chili guacle negro, mulatto, pasilla, ancho, guajillo, and chilpocle; plantains, ginger, onion, tomato, green tomatillo, cloves, black pepper, allspice, squash seeds, almond, pecans, sesame and peanuts, bread, tortillas, marjoram, avocado leaves, oregano, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, chocolate, sugar, salt etc.

-This mole isn't from Oaxaca
Mole Blanco:
this is so fancy you could serve it for a wedding. It's made of chili excatin, white raisins, white chocolate, sesame seeds, almonds, white seeds. Properly made it must be really white and is best served with shredded chicken or turkey.

Chocolate should not be the dominant flavor in any of the moles. Meat is not important; it is only the vehicle for serving the mole. It can be served with turkey, chicken, pork, beef, armadillo or iguana.

How to enjoy a good mole-
Feel free to use you hands when eating mole. Just take a warm tortilla and go for it. Moles are normally accompanied by rice and a good but not too sweet fruit water, Jamaica is ideal, or maybe or a beer.

I personally love to serve two fried eggs sunny side up on a couple of fried corn tortillas covered with delicious mole poblano. Wow, if you serve it this way please invite me!