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Mole in the bay area

bbulkow Dec 3, 2006 08:53 PM


I had the fortune (misfortune) to travel to Oaxaca this year.

I had mole. Real mole. Black mole, full strength. You're hard pressed to find the real Oaxacan stuff even 100 miles away, say the Yucatan.

I packed my suitcase full of paste from the market, but I've run out.

Getting a few ounces of the stuff mail order is excruciating - the tendancy when cooking is to stretch the stuff, which ruins it. I want to buy a few pounds of paste and make that dark, dark chicken mole, sprinkle the sesame seeds, and have a quick and delightful meal.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Is there a mexican market that sells the good stuff? I've gone to all my favorites, and no one has it. There's prepackaged mole pasted (various brands) that's a shallow substitute.

South peninsula preferred ---


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  1. Melanie Wong RE: bbulkow Dec 3, 2006 09:00 PM

    No where near you, but Karina's in Petaluma has black mole from Oaxaca per this recent thread.

    1. rworange RE: bbulkow Dec 3, 2006 10:57 PM

      Have you looked around in the Redwood City Mexican markets? Usually the mole is in the carneceria section of the market on top of the glass meat counters. Most markets will make their own. Some of it is thick and cut into squares.

      If the market isn't making their own (ask), it usually has a label of who makes it. I'd be more interested in the stuff that is made by the market.

      Sorry I can't be more help as I'm not in your area. However after doing a chorizo crawl of the Richmond markets near my home, one of the items that always was on the meat counters was mole. Haven't tried them yet, but plan to.

      Not familiar with the Mexican markets in San Jose or where they would be located (alum rock?) but I know Redwood City has some good ones.

      1. Eat_Nopal RE: bbulkow Dec 4, 2006 05:02 PM

        Like Melanie says... Karina's has the goods... not cheap at $10 a pound... haven't cooked with it, but based on aroma & consistency... it is a very decent version.

        Black Mole is a very Oaxacan specialty... you probably not find it at very many Mexican Markets in the Bay Area... they typically have Jalisco or Michoacan Mole Ranchero (a more reddish, spicy version with straight forward flavors).

        5 Replies
        1. re: Eat_Nopal
          rworange RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 4, 2006 05:43 PM

          I've been meaning to ask this because I've been eyeing the mole in the Mexican markets and planning to try them ... here's the question

          1. re: rworange
            China RE: rworange Dec 4, 2006 07:12 PM

            Which mexican markets seem to have the most promising selections?

            1. re: China
              rworange RE: China Dec 4, 2006 08:59 PM

              Well, based on the quality of the chorizo and other items ... only by sight and never tried ... here will probably be my plan of attack ...

              Mi Tierra Supermercado - liked the chorizo and the mole looked good
              La Loma - chorizo was just ok, but so much else has been top notch here
              Cazadores Market - they made the most salsa & moles, however the little I tried was average ... still, I'm intrigued.
              La Tapatia Market - maybe. The taqueria was great, chorizo so-so
              La Loma #5 even tho La Loma #11 makes the mole, this market is so sloppy I'd rather go to #11 since it is so close.
              El Mercadito San Juan - so unhappy with the chorizo, wouldn't try it.

              Don't have it or don't make their own

              Valley Produce - the best chorizo, but no mole yet
              Super Mercado La Raza - IIRC, they buy it elsewhere

              The rest I didn't notice on my visit, however the above are enough to get me started. Address are in the Chorizo crawl

          2. re: Eat_Nopal
            Melanie Wong RE: Eat_Nopal Dec 21, 2006 01:19 AM

            How's the taste test?

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              Eat_Nopal RE: Melanie Wong Dec 21, 2006 02:06 PM

              Lets just say having a baby makes you appreciate canned beans and all the frozen food at TJ's.

          3. Glencora RE: bbulkow Dec 8, 2006 01:47 AM

            A gentle nudge: I've only prepared the kind of mole that comes in little jars and was looking forward to following your mole-chronicles, hoping to buy my own based on your recommendations. Geese and potatoes are all very nice, but don't forget about the mole. (Please?)

            1. t
              tomritza RE: bbulkow Dec 8, 2006 04:17 PM

              I have had the same misfortune a number of years ago. Black, Red..all the tiny factories making it daily. I hope they survive their current troubles. In any case, that vist has caused me to drive around LA for a mole fix.
              I know it is not south peninsula but there is a vendor at SF Farmers Market at Highways 101 and 280 has homemade black mole in a bag.

              3 Replies
              1. re: tomritza
                Robert Lauriston RE: tomritza Dec 8, 2006 04:30 PM

                That's the Alemany market:


                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Atomica RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 21, 2006 01:57 PM

                  I've never seen it at Alemany.

                2. re: tomritza
                  Eat_Nopal RE: tomritza Dec 8, 2006 06:55 PM

                  Ha, ha! I just had lunch at Monte Alban in L.A. on Wednessday -)

                3. j
                  jsaimd RE: bbulkow Dec 9, 2006 03:56 PM

                  Chavez market carries it at the carneceria in RWC. I haven't tried it...

                  1. k
                    karrybee RE: bbulkow Jan 7, 2007 11:33 PM

                    www.oaxacanfoods.com sells the mole as well as the paste. With the paste all you add is a bit of minced habanero pepper, and chicken broth and you're done.

                    On the website you can buy mole negro made into chicken tamales and other items.

                    Oaxacan Foods can also be found at most Farmers Markets in the South Bay Area.

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