If you want to get some local flavor, within a short drive of Palace by the Sea is a local art market on Sunday. This is the second of several posts to bring to you some of the unique flavors to be found here. The weather was warm and pleasant. We went early, it was not crowded and the sights and tastes were wonderful with their unique Mexican flavor.
This second blog on the local market deals with edibles, drinkables and more. The first thing that caught our eye was the beautiful displays of molé.
Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside Mexico, it often refers specifically to mole poblano. In contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, some quite dissimilar, including black, red, yellow, colorado (another name for red), green, almendrado, de olla, huaxmole and pipián.
Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. However, the classic mole version is the variety called mole poblano, which is a dark red or brown sauce served over meat. The dish has become a culinary symbol of Mexico’s mestizaje, or mixed indigenous and European heritage, both for the types of ingredients it contains, as well as the legends surrounding its origin.
While chili pepper sauces existed in pre-Hispanic Mexico, the complicated moles of today did not. They did not contain chocolate, which was used as a beverage, and in all of the writings of Sahagún, there is no mention at all of it being used to flavor food. Most likely what occurred was a gradual modification of the original molli sauce, adding more and different ingredients depending on the location. This diversified the resulting sauces into various types. Ingredients that have been added into moles include nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, or pine nuts), seeds (such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or squash seeds), cilantro, seedless grapes, plantains, garlic, onions, cinnamon, and chocolate. What remained the same was the use of chili peppers, especially ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle, and the consistency of the sauce.
Attractive display of Molés – a rich paste made of chilies, chocolate and other spices
An eager visitor tries a sample
Local artisan cheeses:
Cheese Wheels and Tortillas
Display case of Various Tasty Cheeses
A cup of yogurt surrounded by a tasty hot-chili decoration:
Exciting cup of chili and yogurt!
Something soothing to wash it down and enliven the spirits: Many artisan brands of mezcal, tequila, cream liquors, wines and more.
Arrangement of Liquors from the State of Jalisco
Soap (Jabon) and Honey complete with active bee-hive.
Herbal formulas and remedies.
Stay tuned for more about this local market and Palace by the Sea!