Editor’s note: Mexican mole is a complex, aromatic sauce containing ingredients such as chili peppers, chocolate, spices, nuts, and sometimes fruit. The result is a rich, velvety sauce with a balanced blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. A staple of Mexican cuisine, it is often used to enhance the flavor of meat and is often served with rice or tortillas. It is often served at special events such as christenings, weddings, and quinceañeras, and is not a barbecue.repeat that Mexican mole is not barbecue.
Once inside, a powerful aroma envelopes your senses, instantly filling your taste buds and transporting you to Mexico for a moment. When you return to reality, you find yourself not in another country, but inside a 100-year-old Lithuanian Hall in southwest Detroit.
After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Holy Mole, the annual cooking competition and food festival, returned in November in southwest Detroit, bringing together food vendors to serve traditional dishes from each Mexican state.
The annual food event was founded in 2016 by sisters Martina and Cristina Guzman, who were born and raised in southwest Detroit. Holy Mole, where women from the community compete to see who can make the best mole, is considered by many to be Mexico’s national dish.
Martina and Cristina used this event to empower Latina women entrepreneurs. Many of the participants opened small businesses after attending this event.
“Latino entrepreneurs are the foundation of the informal economy in southwest Detroit,” Martina Guzmán said. “At Holy Mall, women will set up vendor tables and sell homemade mole, salsa, homemade bread, pastries, handmade tortillas, and jars of tamales. This event is a festival, a celebration, and an immigrant It’s a cottage food fair for women. Participants turned their crafts into “business.” “
One of the Holy Mole participants, Jessica Elpidia Gómez (43) from the small town of San Pedro Xochiapam in Oaxaca, won first place in Holy Mole 2023. Gomez is a former domestic worker who cleans houses for a living and is currently a domestic worker. She is a full-time caterer specializing in Oaxacan cuisine.
During the event, mole makers will be handing out business cards and will be taking orders and selling their moles by the pound long after the contest is over.
“Holy Mall is a very important event for the community and for the cooks who participate,” Gomez said. “This event invites people to enjoy Mexico’s vast gastronomy and gives our chefs pride in sharing the cuisine of a culture we cherish.Join the event Since then, people have started looking for me.”I’ve started cooking for quinceañeras, weddings, and other events. ”
Gomez has been making mole recipes for more than 20 years.
Mariana Valdez, 41, is also a past winner, having won two first-place awards and one second-place award. She has been cooking mole for 15 years.
Attendance at Holy Mole continues to grow each year. In November, organizers counted 900 participants. Vendors sold a variety of foods, including fresh bread and pan dulce, Mexican cheese fruit and beef, pork, chicken, beans, jalapeños, and cheese tamales.
The event also featured different types of moles from other Mexican states: Mole Negro, Mole Poblano, Mole Verde, Mole Negro Oaxaqueño, and Mole Pipian.
They all have different recipes and are made differently in other regions.
“Southwest Detroit has a rich Mexican culture that dates back 100 years and is still very much present today. It’s a destination for home,” Martina Guzman said. While she supports women and the domestic economy. ”
This year’s Holi Mall event will be held in November, with dates to be announced later.
Contact Gomez on the Facebook page Sazón Oaxaqueño, antojitos Mexicanos para cualquier ocasión or call 734-271-2317. For more information about Valdez’s famous mole paste, call 313-516-0527.