Cooking Oaxacan mole negro from scratch was one of the best food and cultural experiences I’ve ever had. On top of that, we didn’t really know what we were going to do when we set off in the morning… but things worked out for the best. Thank you to Javier and his family for inviting us into their home to cook amazing Oaxacan food!
So in the morning the plan was
Rent a van for the day
Drive to a village
Find a market
Ask a nice Grandmother or Aunty to cook us some authentic Oaxacan mole negro
Now, mole negro is one of the most complex and mysterious of all the Oaxacan Mexican food dishes. There’s such a huge mix of random ingredients in the dish, and no one knows for sure how it was invented or how it came about – there are only legends.
After renting a van for the day, our driver Javier came to pick us up and we started talking with him to see if he knew anyone that would make us Oaxacan mole negro from scratch. He called his Mom, and she agreed!
We picked up Mom in a place called Tlacolula de Matamoros, and we went straight to the market to buy all the ingredients for mole negro. Tlacolula de Matamoros is a predominantly Zapotec town, an Indigenous pre-Columbian civilization from the Valley of Oaxaca
We got back to the house and started preparing all the ingredients. Let me tell you, mole negro has to be one of the most complex and mysterious of all Mexican food. It includes so many random and seemingly odd ingredients. It was a lot of fun to learn how to make it.
The end result of the Oaxacan mole negro, was supreme. The sauce was so rich, chocolatey, and you could taste all the random ingredients in it – the nuts and dried fruit. It’s deliciously complex.
Mole was amazing, and having the chance to hang out in a traditional Oaxacan village to cook was priceless.