Originated from Mexico, the mole is a delectable sauce that is used in an abundance of Mexican dishes and cuisine. A pride of Mexican cuisine, there are around 40 different versions of the mole that uses a wide variety of ingredients, at varying amounts and quantities.
The name “mole” may have originated from the Aztecs’ word molli, which can be defined as “sauce” and also the Spanish word “moler”, which means “to grind”.
Some versions of the mole may even include the sweetness of chocolate to enhance the flavours but the chocolate flavour must never overpower the sauce. The combination of different ingredients will seamlessly come together to create a unique mole taste. The versatile sauce can be paired with a lot of different kinds of dishes and meats, such as chicken, beef and lamb.
What is a mole?
Mole is generally a mixture of five components, which are the sweet, sour, chillies, spices and thickeners. The standard mole will mainly consist of chilli peppers, fruit, nuts and various spices such as cumin, black pepper and cinnamon.
The spiced sauce has varying flavours to it, some of which can have a more earthy flavour while others may have a more sweet flavour. The preparation of the mole may even require a few hours to a few days to complete. The ingredients will be grounded and meshed together into a powder or paste form to fuse the flavours together.
The grounded paste will then be mixed with water and cooked above heat till it has been simmered to a thick paste. The sauce has a thick consistency to it, which is perfect to incorporate with other dishes.
History of mole
In Mexico, two states are vying to be the place of origin for this dish, which are Puebla and Oaxaca. Both of these states have their own versions of the native mole and are known to have the best mole compared to other moles in other regions.
The legend behind the creation of mole is that a bunch of nuns at a local convent in Puebla heard that an archbishop was paying a visit to the convent. So, the nuns hurried to prepare food for the archbishop and made the mole by bringing together various ingredients that they could find. When asked what is the name of the dish, a nun replied with “mole”.
Types of mole
At the southern region of Mexico, the mole is generally made with chocolate, as the dish is heavily influenced by the Amerindian. The most famous of all of the mole is the Mole Poblano, also known as Poblano de guajolote, which contains about 20 different types of ingredients, which includes chocolate to dampen the heat of the chilli pepper. The chocolate and Mulato peppers give the sauce a drool-worthy dark colour. On special occasions, the mole poblano will be served with turkey or all over shrimp cakes.
In the state of Oaxaca, the Mole Negro rules the region with its rich and complex flavours. The Mole Negro is made out of onions, chilli peppers and many other ingredients with the inclusion of the hoja santa (Mexican pepper leaf). Other slight variations of mole are also available in the state due to the different ethnicities living within the vicinity, such as the Mole Verde and Mole Coloradito.
Another type of mole is called the Pipián Verde (pumpkin seed sauce), which is mainly made out of pumpkin seeds. The sauce has an aesthetically pleasing green colour to it and it is mixed with other ingredients such as hoja santa, chilli peppers, tomatillos, onions and garlic.
Where to find Mole in Malaysia
Are you curious to know what mole tastes like? Head on down to Sombrero Foods (Selangor) to indulge in the delicious sauce.
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