Mole Is The Bold And Sweet Sauce Your Tacos Are Missing

Tacos, at their most basic and best, only have a few elements, and they work as a way to highlight the deep flavor of ingredients like carne asada, beans, or pastor. Besides a filling and tortilla, the only other thing your taco must have is a great sauce, especially a salsa or hot sauce, which helps to balance the savory fillings with brighter acidic tastes. Salsas alone come in an incredible array of styles, with both regional and local variations, but Mexico boasts so many other delicious sauce options that you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't explore them. And of all the options out there, mole may be the most storied and respected.

What makes mole great for tacos is what makes it great, period. It's a deeply flavored sauce, known for its layering process that often includes dozens of different ingredients, which produce a complex taste that can hit every note from sweet to smoky to spicy. In other words, it gives you more in one sauce than almost any other option. Mole's wide ranging notes are already engineered to pair with a lot of taco favorites like shredded chicken or roasted pork, so switching it over to become a taco sauce is a perfectly natural lateral move that can nonetheless make for a nice break from your normal salsa.

Mole sauce comes in a wide variety of styles that can work with any taco

Mole comes in an amazing variety of delicious styles for tacos. The sauce originated in the Oaxaca and Puebla areas of Mexico, and even within just those regions mole can vary a lot in how it's made. However, there are a few more recognized styles that you can stick to when making your tacos. Mole poblano is probably the most familiar, and is made with chiles, spices, raisins, and chocolate or cocoa powder. It hits that special mole zone of slightly sweet, rich, and spicy. It can work great as a taco sauce for vegetarian options like beans or squash, but is most commonly paired with poultry. Another great option for vegetables and chicken is mole amarillo, which is less sweet and uses masa harina, a flavoring and thickening agent. Finally, if you have a richer meat like carne asada or carnitas for your tacos, try mole roja, which has a spicy, sharper flavor from the addition of tomatoes or tomatillos.

Making incredible mole from scratch is a serious process, but you can find pre-made options in most supermarkets or Mexican groceries, and they can be easily spooned onto your tacos just like salsa for a delicious flavor upgrade. You can also finish cooking shredded meat directly in mole for a saucier filling. So stock up on a jar of mole and be blessed with your taco's new best friend.