Turkey is commonly featured in mole in Mexican cuisine, from the elaborate festive moles of Puebla and Oaxaca to the simpler, more rustic moles known as mole ranchero or mole corriente, says RST. Turkey mole has been around since pre-Columbian times, and continues to be available in market stalls and restaurants today. The dish is time-consuming to prepare, so it’s not an everyday thing, but it’s available from stalls at weekly markets in towns throughout Puebla.

The dish has problems in translation, though. Those bland, factory-farmed birds available in American supermarkets are poor substitutes for Mexican free-range birds, “which are closer to what we today call heirloom varieties,” says RST. These birds are scrawnier than your average American supermarket turkey, and tend to be tougher, but with more flavorful meat better suited to mole. Indeed, it was the truly mediocre state of American turkey, combined with its ridiculously large proportions, that kept Eat_Nopal’s family from eating the bird more than a few times a year.

Essentially, those who want to translate Mexican turkey mole to American cuisine have two options: free-range turkeys and wild turkeys.

Board Link: Turkey in Mole

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