Little Village’s Feria del Mole, now in its tenth year of celebrating the traditional Mexican sauce in all its varieties, originally started as part of Universidad Popular’s Women’s Empowerment Program. About 20 women, mostly Mexican immigrants, had a weekly support group focused on developing their self-esteem, and the only thing they all thought they were good at was cooking. Each was particularly proud of her mole. Inspired by a mole festival in a town near Mexico City, some Universidad Popular staffers helped the women organize the first Feria del Mole to showcase their culinary skills. Since then, some of the winners have started their own catering businesses, and the competitors now include men as well as women. Attendees vote on their favorite moles to determine the winners, and celebrity judges award prizes for the best table decoration and best traditional dress; there’s also live music. This year the festival is stretching to an entire weekend: Saturday is the mole competition, and at Sunday’s Mercado del Mole festival participants sell mole in traditional dishes and by the jar.
9/26-9/27: Sat noon-6 PM, Sun 10 AM-6 PM, 2801 S. Hamlin, 773-733-5055, $10, $7 in advance.