Hispanic Heritage
Mexican Moles

Mexican Moles
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.38

     challenging words:    allspice, chiles, clove, fennel, home-made, mo-lay, moles, molli, poblano, pre-made, sassafras, unsweetened, wasabi, province, ranking, nuns
     content words:    Mexico City, In Puebla

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Mexican Moles
By Jane Runyon

1     Mole, pronounced mo-lay, is the name given to sauces used to season Mexican food. Moles can be deep black, green, or even yellow in color. It all depends on what goes into the sauce. The word mole comes from an Aztec word, molli, which means sauce or stew.
2     One of the most famous moles is mole poblano. It is a mole which comes from the Mexican state of Puebla. This province is about two hours south of Mexico City. A story is told that some Spanish dignitaries were scheduled to visit Puebla. The Catholic priests who were living in the area wanted to impress the dignitaries. They asked the nuns living there to create a meal fit for such high ranking people. The nuns thought and thought about what they could prepare. They finally took every spice, herb, and flavoring they had and put them into a pot. They even put some unsweetened chocolate into the mixture.
3     The nuns let their mixture of over thirty herbs and spices cook for several days. When it came time for the big dinner, they had a thick, sweet sauce in their pot. They poured the sauce over turkey they had roasted for the occasion. It was obviously a big hit. Mole poblano is still a big hit today.

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