The city of Oaxaca is ready to celebrate its 86th Guelaguetza and offer visitors a unique opportunity to get to know the state’s culture and diversity. And few dishes are as intertwined with the identity of the people of Oaxaca as the many traditional mole sauces.
The last two days have been dedicated to the Mole Festival, an event hosted at the city’s Ethnobotanical Gardens where visitors sampled 19 of the mole varieties prepared in the state.
On Thursday, visitors also had the opportunity to witness the preparation of moles including negro, amarillo, coloradito, verde, de caderas and chichilo.
The special focus of this year’s festival was the region of Cuenca del Papaloapan and its mole rojo de mojarra (tilapia red mole), along with cooks from the Technological University of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.
The chairman of the state chapter of the restaurant industry association Canirac told the newspaper Milenio that the event promotes moles among visitors, and that all were prepared in the traditional manner.
“Oaxaca is known by foodies as the capital of moles, as the largest variety of them is concentrated here,” said Fernando Enrique Martín Serrano.
The culinary abundance of Oaxaca is comprised of rich socio-cultural, historic and traditional values, which are showcased in the annual Mole Festival, he said.
Although formally over, visitors to the capital city of Oaxaca can still try the 19 mole varieties showcased at the festival by visiting participant restaurants, where each will serve one type of mole sauce. The special offer continues until July 31.
Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa said an estimated 114,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s Guelaguetza and related festivities, and will leave behind more than 300 million pesos (US $15.8 million).
He also explained that his administration is planning to create a traveling version of the festival that could visit several countries and attract even more tourism to the state.