Welcome to yet another review of the 100 foods an omnivore in DC should partake of. Read the full list.
Oh #95, mole poblano, how I love you. Let me count the ways.
1. you are made of chocolate!
2. you are served with mexican food! (and boy do I love mexican food!)
3. you are savory and delicious!
4. you are to be served on top of some of my favorite foods, like enchiladas, fries and chicken!
Mole Poblano is a mexican sauce made of chocolate, typically served on chicken, enchiladas, and other various mexican delicacies. Mole itself is typically a sauce (or the root of other dips, etc, ie: guacaMOLE), but mole poblano is special. Mole poblano is made with CHOCOLATE. According to wikipedia (where else would I turn for this sort of information, really?) Mole Poblano is named after the city of Puebla, Mexico. The sauce is usually made with chocolate, nuts, different types of chilies, and with all my research it seems that you can basically throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Then you boil it. Apparently, for hours, sometimes for days. It takes a lot of love to make something this delicious.
I love Mole Poblano so much that I went to two places to try it, you know, in the name of complete research.
The first place I went was Oyamel. Oyamel is pretty fancy mexican cooking, but they make a darn good mole, especially when placed on french fries, or papas fritas. See below.
Look at that nice macro photograph. You can see the cheese mixed in, and the crispyness of the fries. It was sweet, salty and savory. Oooooh…my tummy is growling. I friggen loved this stuff. It was de-licious. Oyamel in general is delicious, but so is mole poblano itself, so really, I’m a happy camper no matter what it’s served on. We also got the chicken (the first photo) which was yummy too, but served on fries the mole was my favorite.
The other place I tried Mole Poblano (for this entry, at least, I was first introduced to it in Chapel Hill at Los Pos… yum!) was at El Ranchero in Arlington, on Wilson Blvd. This was our first visit to El Ranchero, after Matt’s friends raved about it being great, cheap mexican.
The opposite of Oyamel, El Ranchero is far less classy, but I like all classes of mexican food equally. What I was most concerned about was the mole poblano itself. Oyamel’s was thick, sweet and dark. El Rancheros was less sweet and thinner. It didn’t stick to the plate the way Oyamel’s did. I think if you boil it longer, the thicker and sticker and sweeter it gets.
I liked them both for their own special variations, but then again, I think you can give me pretty much any mole poblano and I’ll be thrilled. But I do think it’s worth trying on fries. Just the combination of the sweet sauce plus the crisp salty fries is just a taste festival in your mouth. (Running out of synonyms for yummy, here, can you tell?)
Have you tried mole poblano? What do you like it served on? Please do share, ’cause my mole adventures are far from over, and I’m happy to treck a long distance for some delicious poblano! Where is the best mole poblano in DC, in your opinion?
Photos courtesy of flickr user Needlessspaces.