Mole tamales at the museumWe had an agenda when we got up today:  see the chocolate exhibit at the Academy of Sciences.  This Saturday a special demonstration on mole tamales was advertised at the museum at its temporary housing on Howard Street.

Fun time… but only an okay special event in a museum that is offering only a few things to show in its temporary headquarters.  The mole excitement was confined to a couple of folding tables off the chocolate hall on the main floor.  Two volunteers talked about the peppers, chocolate, and other ingredients that go into a good mole sauce. Every 10 minutes or so the guys took a ration of tamales out of the steamer, cut them up, and served them as examples of mole cooking to the throng.  Great masa, and the dark drops of sauce on each piece were tantalizing.  Not bad for a lagniappe, but probably not a draw by itself.  The chocolate exhibit itself was, ah, educational.  I probably would have liked more chocolate sculptures or other irrational bright and shiny visuals instead of so many panels talking about the harvesting and fermenting methods.

We haven’t visited the Academy since it moved from Golden Gate Park.  Its return to a more spacious environment will be welcomed.  They’ve trotted over a number of tanks of fish and other aquarium-ible creatures to the downtown place.  But, the crowd-to-exhibit ratio was not good in this make-shift hall.  It was still good to watch the kids and listen to them tell their harried parents that they wanted to see everything!, but I wanted to see more than everything that was there.

We resisted the Metreon movies — I couldn’t make myself want to pay to see the inevitable commercials that would accompany Charlie or whomever on the big screen. Nonetheless the trip was a nice two-hour reminder of how wonderful it is to live in the big city.

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