Mole Sauces: Traditional Mexican Paste

You have heard of different types of traditional Mexican sauces – salsas, guacamole, and rancheros are all staples of Mexican cuisine. There is another sauce that does gets some press but is not really well-known. It is called mole, and whether you are an average foodie or an online culinary school student in love with Mexican food, it is a spicy treat that you should know about.

Mole is one of the essential products of authentic, regional Mexican cooking. They are rich, thick, and ridiculously savory sauces that really only come to mind after you have tried all the other sauces the Latino traditions have to offer. Making mole, like Indian curries, is not governed by a strict set of rules or guidelines, besides of course being primarily made of chili peppers. You can add many different ingredients that you generally wouldn’t find in Mexican cuisine, like chocolate and prunes, for example. By adding things like ground nuts, seeds, cinnamon and cloves, the flexibility of the sauce is remarkable and full of complex flavors that are difficult to describe but fun to eat. Here are a few that will set your taste buds on fire:

Black mole : Black mole sauces are a sure-fire way to bring some heat and sweetness to your Mexican dishes. It is made with six different chilies, along with tomatoes, tomatillos, fresh garlic, almonds, peanuts, sesame, cinnamon, cloves, a myriad of spices, avocado leaves and a load of decadent, bittersweet Mexican chocolate.

Red mole: Probably the spiciest blend you will get, red mole is often made with the trio of chilcostle, guajillo and mora chiles.  Added to the mix are almonds, cacao, cinnamon, dried fruits and spices.

Yellow mole: One of the most versatile Oaxacan sauces, yellow mole is made of guajillo chiles, annatto seeds, ground canela, cloves, cumin seeds, Mexican oregano, Mexican saffron, tomatoes, tomatillos, onions and yerba santa leaves. This sauce can be used as a topping for chicken and potatoes, as a tamale sauce, or thinned as a broth for boiled beef, green beans and tomatoes.

Green mole: Mole verde is a refreshing sauce made of all fresh greens. You can use sesame and pumpkin seeds, whole cloves, peppercorn, allspice berries, garlic cloves, green tomatoes, pablano and serrano chiles, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard leaves, cilantro and parsley.

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