Quote of the day: MOLE

September 14, 2014

MOLE

In Mexico City we sit for a tasting-menu feast at Pujol, the Enrique Olvera atelier that some gastronomes consider the best restaurant in the country. (Olvera has been gearing up to open Cosme, his first restaurant in New York.) At Pujol, what tips [Danish chef René] Redzepi over into euphoria is mole. A lot of Americans assume that mole is a sauce made with chocolate, but there are scores of moles around Mexico, many conjured up with marathon lists of ingredients. Olvera does something unusual with his mole: He keeps feeding it. For months. “When I tried it the first time, I had goose bumps,” Redzepi says as Olvera sidles up to our table. “Enrique, how old is the mole?”

“Three hundred and seventy days,” Olvera says.

Like a sourdough starter, Olvera’s mole has been steeping in its own funky lagoon of flavor for, yes, over a year. But Olvera does another bold thing with his mole: He serves it by itself, on a plate, spooned into a mahogany circle. On top of that year-old mole is a smaller circle of rust-colored mole. That’s it. There’s no chicken or fish underneath the two moles. All you get is sauce on a plate, accompanied by a basket of warm tortillas for sopping it all up. When the mole arrives, Redzepi gazes at it, rapt, and compares it to the Eye of Sauron. “There isn’t a Danish designer from the ’50s who wouldn’t have an orgasm looking at this,” he says.

— Jeff Gordinier, “In Search of the Perfect Taco,” New York Times T Magazine

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