Mole – Oaxacan Cuisine
As an English speaker you might be a little surprised to see the word ‘mole’ on your menu but don’t panic it isn’t what you think! Mole is a rich tasty dish which comes in seven varieties all with their own particular spark. The word ‘mole’ actually refers to the sauce and it is possible to have ‘mole negro’ with a variety of different meats. Normally mole is served with chicken, turkey or pork and accompanied with rice. Of the seven moles there are innumerable different recipes for each one; it appears that everybody’s grandmother has a different recipe, and understandably some are better than others. A good mole though really is a thing of beauty. Below is a quick description of the seven different moles, though this will probably just serve to make you hungry so the best way to discover mole will be for you to go and have dinner.
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Mole negro is the most famous of the moles and is the classic party dish in the villages. Mole negro has over 30 ingredients including 6 different types of chili and chocolate, so make sure you aren’t on a diet when you visit Oaxaca. Whilst mole negro is a very tasty dish it is quite rich so make sure you haven’t got anything physically exerting to do after eating as you may want to take a little nap.
Mole rojo is the spiciest of all of the moles so be warned! This delightful dish also has some unexpected ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, walnut and peanuts in it, as well as a lot of guajillo chili.
Mole Amarillo is usually just referred to as Amarillo. Mole Amarillo is mole that has a very distinctive flavour and is commonly used to make empanadas, in which case it is normally served with shredded chicken. The sauce itself is made from onion, tomato, garlic, cumin, and coriander.
Mole verde is normally referred to as just verde. Mole verde is normally sereved with pork and has a condemaneted flavour. Mole verde is made from green chilies, onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, and epazote (a Mexican herb).
Mole Coloradito is usually referred to as just coloradito. Mole coloradito is a brick red coloured sauce and is normally served with pork, chicken or beef. Coloradito contains at least two different types of chili, tomato, garlic, almonds, and sugar.
Mole estofado is usually referred to as just estofado. Mole estofado is normally served with chicken and contains ingredients such as olives, onion, sesame seeds, raisins, tomatoes, cloves, capers and more! These ingredients give this dish a distinctive flavour that you won’t want to miss.
Mole chichilo is usually referred to as just chichilo. Mole chichilo is very distinctive mole but hard to come across. Chichilo with beef and avocado has a very elaborate preparation; it contains several types of chili which gives it a distinctive chili smell, ash and finally avocado leaves.
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