Page 23 - The Valley Table - January/February 2021
P. 23

                                 Maribel Rojas
A few days later, following a recommendation from Jiménez, I continued my cadging for mole enlightenment at Tacos Uriel on Mill Street in Newburgh. I sat at a table, ordered the mole Poblano, and looked out a window, framed with a thick, vinyl strip of colored lights, at La Amistad, the place where I should have gone for Jiménez’s bread.
A waitress returned with a plate of rice, beans, fresh cheese, avocado slices, tortillas, and chicken cloaked in shining, dark mole sauce garnished with sesame seeds. Black with white dots, like stars in an infinite galaxy, I folded a tortilla and scooped some of the sauce into my mouth. The taste was that deep.
After my meal, I asked if I could meet the cook and
out came José Rojas, a stout, gray-haired man with a big mustache. I praised the mole, explained my mole mission, and said that I would love to see them make it sometime. As I spoke, he gave me a suspicious look composed of mostly eyebrow, then relaxed his face into a smile. “My wife makes it, but she isn’t going to make it again for a while,” he said. “We do it in big batches and just finished making a lot for
a festival.”
He left briefly and returned with a glossy flyer advertising the festival of the Virgen de Juquila on December 8. That festival is their biggest mole-making effort of the year, he said, with a wide grin and valiant posture.
 jan – feb 2021 21

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