I had my first taste of mole negro which is the mole sauce they make here using chocolate. It was slathered onto a chicken leg and served with rice and beans. It was pretty yummy, I thought. More sweet than spicy. The flavors definitely evolved as I continued to eat the dish. I started noticing a subtle smokiness which was really nice-I suppose it is created by roasting the chilies. Yesterday I was supposed to learn how to make mole negro from a local chef, name Pilar Carbrera who owns a restaurant in Oaxaca named “La Olla”. I woke up feeling pretty crummy but I thought it was the effects of the Mescal I had the night before. I decided to go ahead with the class anyway figuring i would start to feel better. Ilona and I got to Pilar’s house around 9:30 to begin the first part of the class which was the market tour. At the market she showed us the different ingredients used in Mexican cooking and pointed out what was in season now(herbs, guanabana or soursop). She took us to the “food court” inside the market and showed me the stand where she likes to buy “atole” which is a drink made of corn, water and unrefined cane sugar. Pilar purchased 2 cups of chocolate atole for us, which the woman made by frothing a chocolate liquid which she spooned out of a jug and adding some of the thick atole to it. It was delicious. Like a thickened hot chocolate with bits of corn but not as sweet as the hot chocolate that I had at Majordomo. I find it interesting that people still froth their hot chocolate-a tradition that dates back to the mayans and aztecs. Perhaps there’s something to be learned from that. After the market tour we went back to chef Pilar’s house to begin our class. By now I was feeling worse and could hardly stand up. Sadly I had to cancel the remainder of the class and reschedule it for a later date. I hope to make my mole negro with chef Pilar when I return to Oaxaca at the end of the month.