Mole (pron. Mole-a) is a series of Mexican sauces that contain ground chiles, spices, nuts, often chocolate, sometimes raisins, ground seeds, etc.
There are three basic types of moles:
1. Mole Poblano (the most famous type, and the one that Always contains chocolate) was originated in Pueblo during Colonial times (Mexican colonial, not ours) by the nuns who wanted to make a special dish for a visiting Archbishop. The sauce contains ground dried chile peppers, ground nuts, ground raisins, broth, chocolate, sometimes ground corn tortillas, a small amount of sugar, and various spices. It is traditionally served over turkey, with a side dish of unfilled tamales (just the cornmeal masa steamed in corn shucks.) It's one of those dishes that rarely finds its way out of the country of origin, and you either passionately love or passionately hate. I'd post a recipe if I could find one (Have recipes for all three versions floating around Somewhere, but never got the time to enter 'em into the computer, so they're a little tough to find). It may also be purchased pre-made (something I recommend, as the bottled version is excellent, and this is Not something you'd want to attack from scratch on even a semi-regular basis). If Shirley is interested, I'll pick up a jar and ship it your way.
2. Mole Verde (green mole) contains green chiles, broth, ground pumpkin seeds, various herbs and spices. It's usually served over chicken or pork. Nice stuff, and much easier for the beginner to like than the Mole Poblano.
3. Mole Roja (red mole) is a sauce that contains red chiles, herbs and spices, ground nuts or seeds, ground corn tortillas, usually no chocolate. I Think it comes from the region around Oxaca. Again, it's marginally easier to like than the more well-known version. It's usually served over chicken or pork.
All of these dishes are virtual throwbacks to the complex (and to our palates unusual) combinations of ingredients that were common in that part of the country before the arrival of the Spaniards. None of the dishes is particularly hot, they have a complex, haunting flavor that speaks of cultures long gone, but not entirely forgotten.
Don't know if you'd like 'em or not, Unka Burt (I do), but if you want just a hint of what I'm talking about, throw a square of unsweetened chocolate in your next batch of Left-Handed Chili, and let us know what you think.