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The most Mexican sauce

The most Mexican sauce

It is difficult to imagine much Mexican dish than mole poblano – a thick brown sauce in which Mexicans prepare turkey or chicken. Its sweet flavor, the clear evidence of the presence of chocolate, causes a lot of associations about the country, which gave something much more important to the world of gastronomy than fajitas or enchiladas.

According to one version, mole poblano was invented in one of the Catholic monasteries of Puebla (the word "poblano" means "from Puebla"). The city is famous for its cathedrals and monasteries of Spanish colonial architecture, built largely on the place of the destroyed Aztec pyramids, which served as their foundation. On large kitchens of such monasteries the mole was "invented".


Mexican culinary arts, so valued by prominent civic and religious leaders of Viceregency, strengthened and acquired more sophisticated look in here. Here the Spanish aristocrats first enjoyed many meals that ultimately have given to the Mexican cuisine the world fame.

Legend says that once Juan de Palafox, the viceroy of New Spain and the Archbishop of Puebla, arrived in his diocese. The convent in Puebla gave a banquet for him, for what the cooks of religious community made all their efforts.

A monk Pascual was a head chef, and on this day he ran across the kitchen, giving orders. According to legend, he was very nervous and began to reprimand his assistants, seeing the mess prevailing in the kitchen. Pascual himself began to put together various seasonings on a tray to take them to the pantry, but he was so in a hurry that tripped right in front of the pan, where a juicy turkey was almost prepared. And into this pan the chilies, the chocolate chips and a variety of spices rushed, hopelessly changing the taste of the food prepared for the viceroy.

Pascual was so upset and scared that with all his faith began to pray fervently, especially when he was informed that guests are seated at the table. And after some time, he also could not believe that they were all delighted with the «luckless» dish.

This legend is so popular in Mexico, that to this day in small towns the hurrying hostess call for help to the monk: «San Pascual Bailón, atiza mi fogón» («St. Pascual Baylon, fan my hearth").

Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the mole is not the result of the accident, but the product of long cooking process, which had begun in the pre-Hispanic era and was improved in the colonial period, when Mexican cuisine was enriched by Asian and European elements. The name of mole is related with the Aztec word «mulli», which denoted chili sauce.

Each region has put his stamp of property on the mole, and so mole poblano (mole of Puebla) and mole verde (green mole), mole negro (black mole) of Oaxaca, mole amarilito (yellow mole) of south-east, mole coloradito (colored mole) of Valle de Mexico and many others appeared, amazing us with its complexity and simplicity. Each of the states of Mexico proposes its own recipe of mole, but the undisputed leader in the diversity of this sauce is, of course, Oaxaca, which is called the state of seven moles: coloradito, rojo (red mole), mancha manteles (the mole, which "puts stains on the tablecloth"), verde, amarillo, chichilo (derived of the word denoting yellow color) and negro.

The mole is one of the most characteristic dishes of Mexican cuisine. No big celebration is complete without this sauce. The process of its preparing is long and laborious, and the receipt contains many ingredients, different depend on the type of sauce: at least three kinds of chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic, broth, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, marjoram, bay leaves, orange peel, avocado leaves, sesame seeds, almonds, raisins, bread and, of course, chocolate.


The interesting thing is that no one separates the mole and the meat that is served with it. Besides, no one says "chicken with mole" – only "mole with chicken." The mole is served, except the poultry meat, with pork, beef, shrimp and even iguana meat. The sauce can be added to rice to give it the nuance of the festive meal.

Every year in Mexico City the Mole Festival is arranged. It is usually attended by several thousand people. From across the country they take to here many types of true Mexican sauce, the pride and the value of people.




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