Mole Chiles


Mole History

The Aztecs made sauces with chiles and they were referred to as molli.  The Spaniards translated this word to mole [moh-LAY] and that is the familiar name today.

There is much debate about whether the term means a sauce, or a stew, or both.  Many of us think of mole poblano when we think of mole; a dish made with dark dried chiles, nuts, seeds, and a small amount of chocolate served over chicken or turkey.  While this is an important dish there are other types of mole.  The short version of the history of mole poblano is that the nuns of the Santa Rosa Convent created the dish to serve to a visiting bishop. 

Mole Poblano

The mole poblano holy trinity of chiles are the mulato, ancho, and pasilla negro.

 Mulato Chile
 Ancho Chile
 Pasilla Negro Chile
 mulato chiles   ancho chile  pasilla negro

Mole Rojo

Mole Rojo may be made with the same chiles as mole poblano, or, depending on the region they may use a harder to find chile called the chilhuacle rojo.


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.