For This Oaxacan Food Cart Owner, Making Mole Is Nostalgic and Revolutionary

Amalia Sierra’s food cart Tierra del Sol is the social-worker-turned-chef’s homage to her hometown

by Cristina Baez Apr 17, 2019, 11:24am PDT

Amalia Sierra, the owner of the popular food cart Tierra del Sol, often repeats three words when talking about one of her most distinctive dishes: “Mole is mole.” It’s her way of saying that the dish — an intricate blending of chiles, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs, and sometimes unsweetened chocolate — is both an obvious element of daily life and completely otherworldly, chaotic magic unlike anything else. In her hometown in Oaxaca, women have proudly nurtured and guarded mole recipes since the pre-Hispanic past, and it’s a widely acknowledged pillar of Mexican cuisine.


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