Ancient family mole recipes are valuable holiday gifts in Mexico

Digital Originals

Mole is an ancient and varied dish in Mexico, and it’s a holiday tradition whose recipes are highly prized. CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock follows one family that’s sharing their old recipe with the next generation.

Follow Alasdair Baverstock on Twitter @alibaverstock

This year, the time has come for Carolina Jimenez to share her secret family mole recipe with Paola Jimenez, her granddaughter.

“Remember, we have to make mole because it’s our family tradition. We are three, almost four generations here. It’s a family recipe we are proud of,” Carolina said.

Instead of a blender, Carolina is teaching her granddaughter how to use a metate, a traditional Mexican pestle and mortar. 

“The metate is a piece of volcanic stone that the Aztecs used to prepare food,” Carolina said. “It was they who taught us how to make dough. It may be hard to believe, but the flavor of mole mixed on this tool is very important.”

It’s not as easy as it looks.

“I’ve never done this before, and it’s very, very tiring!” said her granddaughter.

This is a closely-guarded family recipe that Carolina learned from her own mother.

“My mother is 96. And she raised us in the kitchen. She raised six kids, and that’s where the family tradition of this preparation comes from,” Carolina said.

When the mole is ready, five generations of the family sit down to eat, as the mole tradition is passed down to the next generation.