February Culinary Favorite

In recognition of Valentine’s Day this month, I decided to connect this favorite to chocolate. This time, however, I wanted to talk about a dish I tried for the first time, and not so much a recipe.

This is my second year in Spanish class, and a few weeks ago, we had our lesson on food. That lesson was not the typical lesson that Spanish students have, like how to say hamburger or water or anything like that. It was about food that people in Spanish-speaking countries actually eat. One dish in particular caught my eye: Pollo Con Mole.

Pollo Con Mole is translated as “chicken with Mole.” Mole is a type of sauce that is very popular in Mexico. It has a few different variations and is made with over twenty ingredients and spices that come together in such a magical way. And one of those ingredients is chocolate.

As someone with an Indian heritage, I was very familiar with dishes that use a variety of spices, but I had never heard of a sauce with chocolate in it, and all I could think about was trying some. It’s not that I was expecting hot chocolate drizzled over my chicken, I was just curious as to how something as sweet and as strong as chocolate could work so well to balance out the heat of the other ingredients while keeping their flavors.

Later that week, my family decided to go to Taqueria Maya for dinner, and I was ecstatic. I would finally be able to try a dish with Mole sauce. I ordered it as soon as the server came to my table, not even taking a glance at the other menu items.

The Pollo Con Mole was brought to my table and my mouth watered as the aroma hit my nose. I smelled a number of spices that I couldn’t quite place my finger on, but the smell was warm and inviting at the same time.

I took my first bite and I was stunned. The texture was so smooth, almost velvety, and the taste was just as my Spanish teacher had said: Almost indescribable. It was like hearing a piece of music that was comprised of a plethora of instruments, but not being able to point out exactly which instruments your ear was drawn to. The piece as a single product was just amazing. That’s exactly what the mole dish was: Twenty or so different ingredients that worked together in perfect harmony to create a satisfying, delicious final product.

If you have or know of any great recipes for Mole sauce, let me know!

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