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, it�s just us. We�re discovering all sorts of connections that go back many years. It�s 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 mol�. Tim is a graduate of the California Culinary Institute, and our paths crossed in Orlando, Florida, we discovered, which is really quite remarkable, but let�s talk about the mol�.
Tim, welcome to the program.
TIM McCarthy: Hi.
GB: Nice to have you with us.
GB: Turns out, mol� is a very complex product.
TIM: That�s 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, it�s the national dish of Mexico.
GB: Does it also vary from cook to cook?
GB: So different people have different formulas or recipes?
TIM: Everybody�s grandmother makes the best.
GB: Yeah, now in the days when Grandma made her mol� from scratch, how long did it take?
TIM: It�s a daylong process.
TIM: Everything�s cooked before it�s 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 mol�?
TIM: Well, my wife�s name is Florence Guerrerro, and�
GB: Ah, that�s what you�re doing talking about �
TIM: So that�s my way in.
GB: I see. And you developed a mol� based on her family recipe?
TIM: Family recipes, it�s not the exact family recipe, but it�s true to the flavors of the family recipes that she grew up with.
GB: And what is mole, exactly? For people who don�t know, who are listening.
TIM: Traditional ingredients would be tomatoes, onion, garlic, chocolate, dried chiles, nuts, fruits, spices, bread to thicken it, sugar�and it reflects the produce of the region.
GB: And it�s a sauce.
TIM: It�s a sauce. It�s 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 I�ve seen on menus turkey with mol� sauce and so on�
TIM: The chocolate, the chiles, are native to Mexico, that�s where they originated, as did the turkey, so the turkey was probably the first thing that got dunked in mol�.
GB: Oh, that�s right, the turkey was native to Mexico as well. And you produce, you sell these mol�s or this mol�?
TIM: Yes, yes.
GB: Is there one mol� or?
TIM: We have two moles to reflect two regions, and a more everyday enchilada sauce.
TIM: We�re available in the Bay Area in Whole Foods, in Nugget Markets out in Sacramento, Dean and Deluca up in the Wine Country�
GB: Right. What two regions are represented in the mol�?
TIM: Puebla, which would be a mole poblano, which is our red mole. And Oaxaca, which is the other famous region for mole, and that�s 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, it�s near Mexico City.
TIM: The chocolate grows in Oaxaca, so they were able to use much more of it, it�s more prevalent. It�s 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: They�re on our website, which is available through Jane�s website.
GB: Yes, exactly. And I would assume, given the complexity of making a mole which takes the entire day, there aren�t 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 it�s a lot easier [laughs]
GB: [laughs] You also run into three or four people, that�s not a huge caucus.
TIM: No, it�s 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, it�s 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: It�s my pleasure.
GB: And we only scratched the surface! You�ve got over a hundred of these on your website.
JANE: That�s correct.
GB: At Savor California. As you add them, you�ll have to come back and see us. We�ll talk more.
JANE: I�d be delighted. We could have a tasting on the air.
GB: Yeah, we could, actually. Absolutely.
JANE: That�d 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 they�re on the Savor California website as well.
Michael Bauer, executive editor of the San Francisco Chronicle is our next guest, and we�ll talk with Michael about what he sees in food trends, and what he sees given the state of the economy as well. 12:13, you�re listening to Dining Around with Gene Burns on KGO.
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