Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holy Mole!

Between June 1946 and the summer of 1949, something terrible happened to Arizona. Amnesia, perhaps, or Taco Bell (or a precursor). I'm not sure which. What I do know is that during my two years at Phoenix Junior College, every Thursday the cafeteria served enchiladas en mole. And that when my friends and I went down to South Central Avenue to Mexican restaurants, the combinacion plate included enchiladas en mole. But, when my first husband and I returned to Phoenix briefly in 1949, there had been a proliferation of Mexican restaurants, none of which had ever heard of mole.

In the meantime, back in Chicago, there opened a number of Mexican restaurants. Amost all of which served enchiladas en mole. In all my subsequent years in Chicago, I never had a problem ordering mole in a Mexican restaurant, whether fancy or cheap.

I should explain. Mole has nothing to do with rodents who live underground; besides, you pronounce the final "e". Mole is a sauce or gravy usually containing unsweetened chocolate, spices, ground seeds (pumpkin, for example) and thickening agents. No tomatoes. It is yummy. It beats those red "enchilada sauces" all hollow!

Perhaps, I thought when we returned to Arizona, a full recovery from amnesia (or Taco Bell-ization) might have occurred. Nope. Not as far as I can tell.

Yes, one can get mole in Prescott. March over to your neighborhood Safeway or Fry's or Wal-Mart (where I took the pictures). There it is. If I have company, I can easily whip up chicken en mole, thanks to Dona Maria. Or La Costena. But it would be oh so cool if a local restaurant would just buy a few jars and make me some enchiladas en mole so I don't have to do the dishes!


Steve said...

Mole, never heard of it, but it does sound like it would be good.

Kate said...

We have some Mexican restaurants up here that serve mole. Maybe I'll haul you off to one. They don't do enchiladas en mole, but do chicken mole instead.

Granny J said...

Sounds yummy. Everybody should try mole!

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