Dining Around with Gene BurnsGene Burns interviews Tim McCarthy, San Angel Mole
On location at the Chronicle Tasting, Fort Mason, San Francisco
KGO Newstalk AM 810
February 28, 2009
Gene Burns: [laughing] Welcome back! Hour number three of Dining Around with Gene Burns. Weird things are happening here at the Festival Pavilion. It has nothing to do with the pavilion, itís just us. Weíre discovering all sorts of connections that go back many years. Itís really sort of amazing. Hour number three live at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Tasting, which is from 2 to 5 this afternoon here at the Festival Pavilion.
We have one more food purveyor that Jane St Claire from the portal website Savor California wanted to bring by: Tim McCarthy and his wife Florence are the makers of molť. Tim is a graduate of the California Culinary Institute, and our paths crossed in Orlando, Florida, we discovered, which is really quite remarkable, but letís talk about the molť.
Tim, welcome to the program.
TIM McCarthy: Hi.
GB: Nice to have you with us.
GB: Turns out, molť is a very complex product.
TIM: Thatís right. It traditionally has 25 to 30 different ingredients, different types of chilies, chocolate, nuts, fruits, spices, and it varies from region to region within Mexico. But overall, itís the national dish of Mexico.
GB: Does it also vary from cook to cook?
GB: So different people have different formulas or recipes?
TIM: Everybodyís grandmother makes the best.
GB: Yeah, now in the days when Grandma made her molť from scratch, how long did it take?
TIM: Itís a daylong process.
TIM: Everythingís cooked before itís ground up or pureed, then blended back together, cooked again, and then you would add your meat or add it to the meat or add the meat to that.
GB: Now of course, with a name like McCarthy, what are you doing talking about molť?
TIM: Well, my wifeís name is Florence Guerrerro, andÖ
GB: Ah, thatís what youíre doing talking about Ö
TIM: So thatís my way in.
GB: I see. And you developed a molť based on her family recipe?
TIM: Family recipes, itís not the exact family recipe, but itís true to the flavors of the family recipes that she grew up with.
GB: And what is mole, exactly? For people who donít know, who are listening.
TIM: Traditional ingredients would be tomatoes, onion, garlic, chocolate, dried chiles, nuts, fruits, spices, bread to thicken it, sugarÖand it reflects the produce of the region.
GB: And itís a sauce.
TIM: Itís a sauce. Itís a cooking sauce that you could either cook meat in or pour it over cooked meat.
GB: So generally, a sauce for meat.
GB: And because Iíve seen on menus turkey with molť sauce and so onÖ
TIM: The chocolate, the chiles, are native to Mexico, thatís where they originated, as did the turkey, so the turkey was probably the first thing that got dunked in molť.
GB: Oh, thatís right, the turkey was native to Mexico as well. And you produce, you sell these molťs or this molť?
TIM: Yes, yes.
GB: Is there one molť or?
TIM: We have two moles to reflect two regions, and a more everyday enchilada sauce.
TIM: Weíre available in the Bay Area in Whole Foods, in Nugget Markets out in Sacramento, Dean and Deluca up in the Wine CountryÖ
GB: Right. What two regions are represented in the molť?
TIM: Puebla, which would be a mole poblano, which is our red mole. And Oaxaca, which is the other famous region for mole, and thatís our black mole, and it was a recreation of a Oaxacan mole negro.
GB: Okay, and the Oaxacan mole negro is the one with chocolate in it? Or do they both have it?
TIM: They both have chocolate.
TIM: The Puebla, they were able to get ingredients from all over, itís near Mexico City.
TIM: The chocolate grows in Oaxaca, so they were able to use much more of it, itís more prevalent. Itís a sweeter, darker, richer, more complex sauce. And it reflects the produce of the region.
GB: And you have a website available through the Savor California portal as well.
TIM: We do, we do.
GB: And are the sources of supply, the locations where the mole is sold, on the web page?
TIM: Theyíre on our website, which is available through Janeís website.
GB: Yes, exactly. And I would assume, given the complexity of making a mole which takes the entire day, there arenít a lot of people around making their own.
TIM: Every time we do shows, we run across three or four people who do make their own, and half of them still end up buying some because itís a lot easier [laughs]
GB: [laughs] You also run into three or four people, thatís not a huge caucus.
TIM: No, itís not.
GB: Making their own mole. So you make the two moles, the Puebla mole, which is the lighter, and the Oaxacan mole which is darker. And you say you have some enchilada sauce as well?
TIM: Yes, itís a little spicier, more straightforward, Mexican restaurant flavor. Half (??) the complexity of the moles.
GB: Yeah. What a terrific story. Well thanks for coming by!
TIM: Thanks for having me.
GB: We appreciate it. Tim McCarthy. And Jane, thank you for giving us a lead on all these great food producers.
JANE: Itís my pleasure.
GB: And we only scratched the surface! Youíve got over a hundred of these on your website.
JANE: Thatís correct.
GB: At Savor California. As you add them, youíll have to come back and see us. Weíll talk more.
JANE: Iíd be delighted. We could have a tasting on the air.
GB: Yeah, we could, actually. Absolutely.
JANE: Thatíd be fun.
GB: Thanks a lot for joining us.
JANE: My pleasure.
GB: Jane St Claire of Savor California, Tim McCarthy of San Angel Mole, and theyíre on the Savor California website as well.
Michael Bauer, executive editor of the San Francisco Chronicle is our next guest, and weíll talk with Michael about what he sees in food trends, and what he sees given the state of the economy as well. 12:13, youíre listening to Dining Around with Gene Burns on KGO.
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