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Jun 14, 2014 11:30 AM

Favorite commercial/small batch moles?

Visiting from Boston for a week and want to bring some mole back with me. Despite growing up in SoCal, I've never bought mole at the store before. Any recommendations for favorite brands or local small batch vendors? Any kind of mole, stocking up on tastes of home.

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  1. Hmm...don't think I've seen scratch mole paste anywhere in San Diego, not even Northgate. Most mole sold in San Diego is jarred, either Doña Maria or Rogelio, with Rogelio being the somewhat better brand.

    Your best bet may actually be the Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana. San Diego's Mexican food culture (sadly) is taco shops, not traditional Mexican.

    1. If you go to Escondido World Marketplace (it's a swap meet) tomorrow (admission $2 on Sunday; it opens at 7 a.m.), straight ahead when you walk in are the Produce seller vendors, and the first one on the left sells a green mole paste.

      To the right when you walk in are about 12 small food shops and the Productos de Oaxaca Juquilita (on the right as you go down that aisle) sells a mole paste that was brought here from Oaxaca (she says her products are brought to Tijuana by a relative each week; I purchased a Dia de Los Muertos bread from her last year, as well as a Rosca de Reyes, which were fresh and unlike any of the breads sold at markets here).

      Website of Escondido World marketplace:

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        For the Escondido World Marketplace, are the Produce vendors there all open days or just Sunday? Sounds like I will be making my way up there!

        1. re: caromk

          I only drive there on Saturdays and Sundays. Produce/mole paste sellers are definitely there both those days.

      2. There are mole pastes from Mexico available all over Escondido, so they must be found at in other towns as well. There are pastes sold in clear plastic, forming squarish packages, and pastes sold in white buckets. I'm not a frequent purchaser, but their flavor is worlds above Doña María. The ingredients list are concise - no American-style fillers.
        The pastes are often found on the counter above the meat selection; I'm almost positive I've seen them there at our Northgate Gonzalez. I see them at smaller stores all the time. The white-bucket version is sometimes on shelves, especially if the store has a regional-Mexico section.
        Off the top of my head, these pastes are available at Panadería Oaxaqueña off Grand, at El Chile Market (now Mercado El Sol; they may not have restocked completely since the turnover), at Rodeo's Meat Market in San Marcos, and as, mentioned, at the swap meet. They used to be fairly hard to find around here, but I feel that in the last 3 years or so their presence has exploded. Start by looking around the meat counter of any Mexican grocery store.

        1 Reply
        1. re: maestra

          Maestra, I'm going to have to look at Northgate on 43rd. I was there last month and I know they didn't have any, BUT, I didn't look that closely around the meat counter because I wasn't buying meat. That's a good tip, I want to check it out.

          Almost anything is better than Doña Maria :-D