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Mano y Metate

Moles (pronounce MÓ-less) are to Mexico what curry powders are to India. Mole is a generic term attributed to a number of spice mixes which generally use chili peppers as the main ingredient, along with herbs, nuts, fruits and other ingredients. Some moles contain 20 or more ingredients! Ingredients are typically roasted and/or dried and then ground into a powder. The powder is then used to make a thick sauce which is typically served over meat or poured over enchiladas. Moles can also be used as a rub for meats or a seasoning to enhance dishes. 

Classic moles are mole poblano, mole negro, mole pipian and mole verde. There are many more. Mole recipes are often passed down through generations and are generally prepared for special events. The preparation of a mole is a long process often including many women in a family. 

Some of the best moles in Tucson are made by Amy Valdés Schwemm, who has also been a Tucson CSA volunteer for over 10 years! We offer all of Amy’s moles in the CSA Shop. Amy makes her own moles from scratch. Here is what Amy says about her moles:

A mano and metate is a stone grinding tool traditionally used to prepare moles. My great grandmother’s metate inspires me in my kitchen. 

I grind fresh, whole spices, nuts, seeds, and chiles in small batches, so making moles, the celebrated Mexican sauces, in your kitchen is as easy as sauté, simmer, and serve. 

Sauté a tin of Mano Y Metate mole powder in two tablespoons of oil to make an aromatic paste. Add broth and simmer to finish the sauce. ¡Qué suave! Serve your fresh homemade mole with meat or veggies. Unlike commercial mole paste, Mano Y Metate Mole powder is cooked in the oil of your choice, fresh every time.

¡Buen Provecho!