When we talk about a traditional Thanksgiving, we usually mean the â€˜basicsâ€™: turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, pumpkin pie. However, if you want to spice up your holiday, consider adding a mole sauce to the menu!
Mole (pronounced MOE-lay) is a traditional Mexican dish that differs according to region but generally consists of roasted chiles and seeds with ingredients such as peppercorns, garlic, onion, tomato and even chocolate. Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, is famous for its seven moles, which range in color from green, to red, to black. Mole Poblano is considered the â€˜nationalâ€™ dish, from the city of Puebla in central Mexico.
Legend has it that nuns from the Santa Rosa convent near Puebla City collected mole recipes from the local residents and modified the accumulated recipes into a blend of the best. What’s more, they added cacao beans (which are spicy when used without sugar) in order to blend Indian and Spanish ingredients into the dish and honor a visiting archbishop.
Turkey is actually one of the favored meats to go along with mole, and mole poblano is served on holidays and special occasions (although Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, watch them bring out the mole at Christmas!). In the state of Puebla, turkey mole poblano is served at the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla on May 5.
In addition to making a mole at home (which can be a bit laborious and time-consuming), prepared mole may be purchased off the shelf at Mexican grocery stores or in the â€˜Hispanicâ€™ section of larger supermarkets.
So, if you want to serve something a little out of the ordinary, try a traditional mole with your traditional turkey and shake up those traditions!
For more information and a recipe, we suggest: