Although Zitácuaro is best known for its proximity to the monarch butterfly forests, the fertile fields make it a hidden treasure for good food. Gaby Rivera is in charge of an inn in the Melchor Ocampo Market -on one side of the central square of Zitácuaro- that has followed a line of traditional cooks and her mole is so good that he took her to Italy to one of the meetings of Slow Food.
The green mole of Zitácuaro is very particular and its unique style comes from the Mazahua and Otomí communities of the region that have passed from generation to generation. Its color is bright olive-green – a hue that does not come from the seeds (as in most green moles) but from the native spinach of the region.
In addition to spinach, Gaby uses other quelites, poblano pepper, serrano pepper, sesame, cashew and tomatillos, and she roasts all the ingredients, very slowly, without tatemarizing them. After grinding and adding thyme and other aromatic herbs, fry it for a while until obtaining the desired consistency and smoothness. At the Fonda Caro it is served with pork backbone, which adds fat lightly. To complement it, it is accompanied by a little red rice and freshly made tortillas. The addition of spinach and quelites to the preparation makes it fresh and herbal and takes it away from that reference to pipián that usually goes hand in hand with mole verde.
La Fonda de Doña Caro has been serving traditional dishes of the region for 52 years and she was the first cooks to serve mole verde with backbone in the area, but if you turn around there, don’t forget to try the red mole, which is spicy. slightly spicy and slightly sweet. Its velvety texture shines on the chicken with which it is served. If you don’t know which one to try, you can also order a plate of corundas, which are accompanied by the two moles.
- Gaby Rivera, learned the recipes from her mother, Carolina Soto, who in turn learned them from her mother. The technique, patience and above all the flavor of her preparations have made her one of the most recognized Michoacan cooks in the country.
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