Mole negro, the most respected and famous mole from the state of Oaxaca uses several ingredients that are difficult (nearly impossible) to find locally. In Oaxaca, the chilhuacle chile is their most expensive due to its smaller yield. But the good news is that an excellent mole negro is available at Phoenicia.
Susana Trilling teaches Oaxacan cooking classes and leads tours throughout southern Mexico. Her Seasons of My Heart Mole Negro can be found now at Phoenicia on Westheimer.
If you are planning a trip to Oaxaca, you absolutely must plan to take her Wednesday Etla market tour and cooking class. It is mind blowingly good.
Seasons of My Heart Cooking School with Susana Trilling - Oaxaca
Fiesta Supermarket and Mi Tienda (HEB)
The traditional mole used here in Texas by Mexican-American families has been Doña María for decades. It comes in a glass container that, after its contents are used, becomes an orange juice glass in Mexican-American households. Go to any 2nd or 3rd generation Tejano home and I'll bet you see a bunch of Doña María glasses on the shelf. The way that mole has been prepared by families here is to reconstitute the paste with chicken broth and then add peanut butter to taste. Welcome to the Tex-Mex way of doing things. This brand is the most visible, the most available one, and you'll even find it at your Walmart, Kroger and your HEB. Now, mole purist will roll their eyes at you if you mention it. But, when push comes to shove, it is a perfectly acceptable and viable mole. Originally, it followed the traditional mole Poblano formula but I suspect that Doña María now has a much more extensive product line.
Also, because Fiesta and Mi Tienda focus on and cater to a Hispanic customer base, you are going to find several other brands of prepared moles here including La Costeña and others.
Yep. Trader Joe's markets their own mole.
Spec's (On Smith Street)
The big Spec's flagship store once carried La Soledad mole negro and mole rojo from Oaxaca. No more. But they will have Doña María and maybe another brand or two for you, such a Rick Bayless's Frontera brand (also available at Central Market HEB)
Other Mole Sources
Flores Spices on Airline (and behind Canino's at the Airline Farmer's Market)(Also known as Texas Spice Company)
La Michoacana meat markets around town
Teloloapan meat markets around town
Matamoros meat markets around town