Ole For Mole
Olé for molé
In parts of Mexico, molé is a culinary staple at many special occasions. A discerning cook might spend days perfecting the savory sauce with only the finest ingredients, which may include nuts, seeds, spices and fruit, sometimes chocolate, but always chili peppers. The trio of ancho, mulato and pasilla peppers is the heart of many a molé, and the seeds of these and other unique chili peppers are available to the adventurous gardener. The new chili 'Holy Molé' won the 2007 All-America Selections award for vegetables. The first hybrid pasilla-type pepper, the variety earned top billing for its improved vigor, early and high yields, and disease resistance in plots on the AAS trial grounds. The pepper is mild and tangy. The mulato chili pepper has a smoky, medium-level hotness, while ancho peppers have a mild, sweet flavor. Chili peppers are easy to grow in containers—you could design an entire patio chili garden using 2-gallon or larger pots. For the widest selection, look through seed catalogs or search for varieties online. The Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University (www.chilipepperinstitute.org) also offers seeds. Start seeds indoors 8–10 weeks before the last average frost date (check package for specific planting instructions).