The Flavorful Sauce That's Enjoyed During Día De Muertos

While Día de los Muertos takes place shortly after Halloween and also involves heavy use of skulls, skeletons, and other death-related imagery, the two holidays aren't all that similar. Halloween, as we now know it, is all about candy, costumes, and binge-watching horror movies, whereas DDLM is about honoring your dear departed ones, whether they be ancestors or friends or family recently lost to you. 

As you're celebrating their lives — not their deaths — Big 7 Travel points out that the holiday is meant to be happy, rather than gloomy. This may be why the most iconic of images associated with it is the sugar skull, typically decorated in bright, cheery colors.

Another way in which the holiday parts ways with Halloween is that it typically includes foods other than candy. Lola's Cocina notes that there are three main foods associated with the holiday: the skull-shaped or "bone"-topped sweetbread pan de muerto, spiced hot chocolate, and the tasty sauce known as mole negro.

Mole negro is deep, dark, and full of flavor

Mole negro, which originates in Oaxaca, is one of seven different types of Mexican moles. But per Lola's Cocina, it's considered to be the richest of these. The best-known mole is likely mole poblano, a sauce which is similar to mole negro but differs in one significant way. Due to the amount of chocolate contained in the latter, it is by far the stronger-tasting (and darker) of the two moles.

According to Big 7 Travel, some of the ingredients in mole negro include pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and blackened chiles as well as the aforementioned chocolate that gives it its deep, dark color and a flavor that borders on both bitter and sweet. 

Mole negro is widely popular for Dia de los Muertos celebrations with both the living and the dead alike. Okay, we can't really speak for the latter group, as there's no "ghost Twitter" allowing them to share their opinions from beyond the grave. But it is a typical holiday ofrenda meant to tempt the appetites of returning spirits, and as far as we know, they haven't complained yet.