What is Mole?

There are many foods and dishes representative of traditional Mexican cuisine that have changed and adapted in American culture, such as burritos, quesadillas and tacos. One recipe that has stayed very similar to its roots is mole, a Mexican sauce used in a variety of meals and cooking styles.

Mole is the broad term for a few types of sauces and the dishes they accompany. There is black, red, green, yellow, and many more varieties that vary from region to region. The most well known type is mole poblano, a dark sauce made with chili peppers and chocolate. Mole poblano is generally served with chicken or meat dishes and rice. It may sound like a strange flavor, but the chocolate does not dominate the dish—it’s used to offset the spice of the chilis and also gives mole its dark brown color.

Whether we’re cooking it, serving it or eating it, we love mole! At Nana’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina, we use our family recipe that has been passed down through generations to bring our authentic mole to Seattle. Our Pollo con Mole Rojo is a Jalisco-style rich red mole sauce over chicken and served with tortillas. We also serve an Oaxcan-style brown mole (mole negro) over chicken with black beans, Spanish rice and tortillas. Each of these styles of mole represent a region of Mexico with different spices and chilis that we have re-created with fresh Northwest ingredients.

If you’ve never tried mole before, you’re in for a flavor surprise. It’s quite different than any American food. Mole can taste sweet and spicy and sour all at the same time, with a thick texture perfect for dipping and smothering in side dishes.

Come give mole a try at Nana’s for a taste of traditional Mexican cuisine in Queen Anne!

Featured photo found here.

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