Monday, December 04, 2006

Yummy Mole Poblano

What is that brown, rich, thick, chocolatey sauce surrounding the sunny side up eggs??? Looks a bit like chocolate, doesn't it? Well, it is in fact a complex type of mole (the Mexican version of a curry) called mole poblano, a specialty of the city of Puebla which is about an hour away from Mexico City. Although I wasn't able to visit Puebla on this trip, mole poblano is readily available in other parts as well. Half of fifty or so ingredients in this extraordinary mixture are different types of chile, but the most notable ingredient is - yes, you guessed right, chocolate!. If you're cringing this very moment and wondering what this concoction tastes like, well I'd be the first to encourage you to definitely try it. And for the record, it tastes like spicy chocolate, to me anyway. Does that help, or still hard to imagine? Definitely yummy though. As with most authentic Mexican dishes, the tortilla cannot be far behind. Under the eggs is a layer of ham stacked between two tortillas, so it makes for quite a filling meal.

Another dish that I normally have for breakfast is huevos rancheros, which is fried eggs on a tortilla with hot hot red salsa. And of course, the ever-present staple of Mexican cuisine and invariable accompaniment to egg dishes - frijoles or beans. In this case the beans are served up mashed, as shown on the left side of the picture. I have to admit that the spiciness was quite addictive, and I've developed a liking for ranchero-style meat entrees. If ever you are in need of a jolt, just order one of them - easy on the sauce though, or your mouth will feel like its on fire, or better yet just be sure to have a tall glass of water or soda at the ready.

So, the next time you visit your neighborhood Mexican resto (NOT Taco Bell, duh), scan the menu and take a chance on mole poblano dishes.

P.S. For NYC and area residents, a good place for mole poblano is Pio Maya (Taqueria Mexicana), on West 8th St. near 6th Ave. It's a tiny joint doing most take-out business and not much to look at, but great for cheap, authentic and filling Mexican food.