Are you ready for this? There are seven, yes, seven different types of Mexican mole. That’s right, seven different ways to enjoy that delicious sweet and savory classic sauce. Mole is actually the generic term for the sauce, usually made with between 20 and 40 spices and some combination of sweet and bitter chocolate and though it’s usually served for meat, it’s incredibly versatile. Both Puebla and Oaxaca are known for their mole but like your family recipes, every city and town, has their own version. Here are seven types – and why you need them all.
This is probably the mole that you’re most acquainted with (the one most commonly found in the U.S.). It starts with the classic mole base: onion, garlic, whole warm spices (cinnamon, cloves, pepper), dried chiles, pumpkin, sesame seeds, fresh herbs, and dark unsweetened chocolate. If it’s authentic, it will also be made with fresh hoja santa, a licorice tasting herb.
This is the second most common type of mole, red in color, savory, and less sweet. This mole uses less chocolate, more dried chiles (pasilla, guajillo, and ancho), as well as almonds or peanuts. This mole will also usually be made with fruit, giving it a sweeter flavor. You’ll most often find mole poblano stewed with chicken and pork (as opposed to served alone).