Oscar del Rivero, the executive chef of Jaguar Hospitality Group, discusses this quintessential Mexican sauce: Mole Poblano. His version combines more than 30 ingredients for a complex, unique flavor. Check out the Q&A and video below to learn more about this versatile sauce.
How is this mole from Puebla different from other moles in Mexico?
The Mole Poblano, from the city of Puebla, is one of the most popular. There are many different types of moles all over Mexico. They vary in ingredients, which in turn vary in color and flavor. The Mole Poblano has chocolate as one of its ingredients. It is not the only mole with chocolate, but that is one of the characteristics that set this mole apart from the rest. The color is a dark, glossy brown that looks silky and smooth. Other moles have different colors, yellow, red, black, green, etc. Mole is a very complex sauce, a masterpiece. It is a symphony of flavors. As you can tell, I love it 😁!
Mole Poblano Q&A with Chef Oscar
How many would you prepare on a daily basis at the restaurant?
We use it for our chicken mole. We make this mole in two-gallon batches and we also use it for enchiladas and chilaquiles.
Is there anything different or any adaptations that you have done to the original recipe to cater to the Miami clientele?
No, this mole is as is. If we were in Mexico we would use the exact same recipe.
How many ingredients are in the Mole?
Our mole has over 30 ingredients.
How many different styles of mole are they? (Traditional ones?)
Off the top of my head, I can think of 10 moles. I know there are the classic seven moles from Oaxaca and then some. This is a question for a history major and a chef... even then together they might be in disagreement on some of the moles. Also there are pepianes or pipianes, and there is a Mole de Olla — that is more like a soup. One thing is for sure, there is a mole for every personality, and some pair better with seafood, others with poultry. And in my opinion, all of them are truly unique and delicious.
Anything different on the Mole de Xico?
Yes! This beautiful mole is from the state of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico. The color is a lighter brown than the poblano, and it is definitely sweeter. It is made with abundant fruits and dried fruits, and it is less spicy. Remember, moles vary by families and regions so my experience might be a little different than other cooks. But again I think from the south to the north, and from coast to coast, we can all agree that all moles are delicious!
Do you see anything different in the modern mole from the “abuelita’s one” (what you grew up with)?
My abuelita was an amazing cook, and she took her time making her mole from scratch — in some occasions she would start three days ahead. And that is the only way mole should be made, with patience, and following the tradition of peeling nuts and roasting chiles and drying fruits etc. Depending on where you eat, mole quality will vary. But I believe if it’s made with the right ingredients, it has been consistent in quality and flavor through time.
Anything new around mole that we could learn?
Always something new to learn. I have read about all sorts of new moles, like fig mole or mole almendrado which means it has an abundance of almonds. This is a good example of creativity and utilizing local ingredients. Your mole options might be endless.
There are many different types of moles all over Mexico, but this Mole Poblano, from the city of Puebla, is one of the most popular. It has chocolate as one of its ingredients, which is one of the characteristics that sets this mole apart from the rest. Mole should be made with patience, and following the tradition of peeling nuts, roasting chiles and drying fruits. It is a very complex sauce, but the result is an unparalleled symphony of flavors.