History tells us that mole originated in the Santa Rosa Convent in Puebla in the 17th century. The story goes that Sister Andrea de la Asunción blended chocolate, chili, sesame seeds, cinnamon, almonds, peanuts, garlic and pepper among other ingredients, to create a sauce that she served with turkey to honor the visit of the Viceroy.
|Cacao beans, once a prized trade good used as currency by the ancient Maya.|
There are now countless variations on the original recipe in Puebla, Oaxaca, Hidalgo the state of Mexico and beyond and an October Mole Festival in San Pedro Atocpan (October 2 – 24), a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, which produces most of the mole spice paste consumed in the country. Up to 500,000 people are expected to attend the festival in 2010 and the organizers hope that the art of making mole will soon be recognized as a World Heritage tradition by UNESCO.
Photos courtesy of Secretary of Tourism, Tabasco, Mexico