What is Mole?
Most people associate the term mole with mole poblano, a sauce with a slightly murky history that usually contains chocolate. Although the origins of this classic paste are disputed, the most common story attributes its invention to enterprising nuns from the Convent of Santa Rose in Puebla, Mexico, who hastily put together the ingredients to address a surprise visit by the archbishop. The inclusion of chocolate is a distinguishing feature of their mole, but across Mexico less-auspicious versions are widely used in everyday dishes. Prepared moles are often sold at local markets and distinguished by color–in my experience, green, yellow and black. They are fairly simply, readily available sauces, based on chiles, complementary spices and aromatics, and Mexican cooks routinely use prepared versions as convenience foods, to jump-start dishes that would otherwise be time-consuming to prepare.