“El mole” mexican culinary history. CHICONCUAC DE JUAREZ EDO. DE MEXICO

Being a favorite among a Nation’s traditional dishes; 99% of all Mexicans have tasted at least one version of it. “El mole”, related just by a part of the name’s structure with the famous “Guacamole”, it has been since ancient times a special guest in every Mexico’s dinning room. The well known thick, sweet-chili sauce has shaped the “spicy” character of every mexican since the time it was served on a table for the first time!!!! It has become an icon of the Culinary mexican art for every celebration and feats.

At the marketMole shopspices and chilies displays at the marketpile of chili

While the provinces of Puebla and Oaxaca “fight” to be recognized as the birthplace, many are the legends which tell the origins of  “EL mole”. Some took place during the conquest time, giving an extraordinary ending on how ingredients such as: chili; chocolate; sesame seeds; and a variety of  spices, which were on that period of the Mexican history an unconceivable mix of flavours, were put together by a merely  and simple life accident in the kitchen while preparing an important banquet in the city of Puebla. Other legends take place right in the middle of the encounter of two different Worlds between Europe and the Americas, when Moctozema organized a welcome celebration to “Hernan Cortez”, and among other exotic meals, they saw a thick dark sauce which the Aztecs called “milli” the Aztec word for “sauce”.

ABOVE: CHILI GUAJILLO; CHILI MULATO; CHILI ANCHO

Massive piles of dried chili displayed in the shop looked just as the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in the ancient city of Teotihuacan; radiant colours of powder cone-shape trapped your sight as soon as you enter to the food market in Chiconcuac, Estado de Mexico. The smells, the sellers on the floor, a familiar atmosphere, vivid and spontaneous trading between buyers and sellers, and a non-changed  daily-life activities made me feel like the first travelers must have felt when they witnessed the new world’s markets of what they named ” The Americas”.

mole powder piles at the market a look inside the mole shopmarket daily lifemole's color and texture

” I have worked in the market already for 10 years, this is my life, the place where i feel happy” said Antonio who lives around Chiconcuac and have worked in the market selling mole for over 10 years.
He showed me several kinds of spices which are found in the mole’s preparation around the shop. A room just across the shop opened an unexpected dimension.”This is our mill” he said, i closed my eyes and i was watching at the right moment when the legends say “El mole” was created: A monk tripped in the kitchen where the meal for the spanish royalty was being prepared, and dropped the mixed ingredients that he was carrying in his hands into a “cacerola” or big pot where a juicy turkey was ready to be served. What happened next is already history.

Antonio has worked in the market for over ten years!! Mole spices mill at the market Mole spices mill at the market Mole spices mill at the market Mole spices mill at the market

Whatever the facts that happened to create the most celebrated dish in the Mexican culinary history; either coincidence or a one-in-a-life-time inspiration in one of the many kitchens, markets or festivities in Mexico. “El mole”, is the closest gastronomic experience to discover the enigmatic mix of flavours within the entire culture and society in Mexico. It has found its life-time partners in the chicken and tomato rice, giving birth to another tasty legend in a festivity of mouth watering flavours!!!

ABOVE: “POLLO CON MOLE Y ARROZ” DISH; MOLE SAUCE IN A CLAY POT

MOLE POBLANO: Poblano & mulato chillies, almonds, tropical banana, sesame seeds, raisins, peanuts, chocolate and some other spices.

MOLE VERDE: Almond, green chili, peanuts, garlic, and onion.

MOLE ALMENDRADO:  Nuts, seasame seed, raisins, peanuts, mulato chili, hazelnut, chocolare and other spices.

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