Chef News

Betty Alatorre of Paletas Betty, Part Two

Yesterday, we heard from Betty Alatorre of Paletas Betty. Today the conversation continues.

"I love sweets," says Betty Alatorre. This comes as little surprise from the woman behind the Mexican popsicles at Paletas Betty, which she and her fiancé Alvin Hong recently opened in Chandler. Gansitos, frescas, fruit on a stick, paletas - you name the Mexican sweet, and Alatorre probably loves it.

Alatorre recalls the vendors who lined her way home from school and gushes about respados, basically a snow cone on a stick: "There was this guy who would have a huge block of ice on his little cart and he would shave it, shave it, pack it into this little metal mold, put in a stick and turn it upright, then he would add the syrup on top. I loved those, and strawberry was my favorite one."

Alatorre translates her love of sweets into each of her paletas flavors. Her latest favorite? Frambuesa or raspberry yogurt. She even makes perroletas for furry friends - frozen chicken stock and chicken bits on a rawhide stick.

"We don't have [the perroletas] out here in the case, because we don't want people to order them by accident," Alatorre says.

Paletas Betty is open to flavor suggestions, but it might take them a little while to perfect your paleta. "We want to make sure we have the quality there versus just having a number of flavors out there," Alatorre says.

Today, Alatorre tells us about her latest sweet-fix letdown, "the salsa lady" she calls mom, and the one thing she won't put in a paleta.

Most overrated frozen dessert? Yesterday we had an experience... We spent $8 at Dairy Queen. We were outraged. I was disappointed. It's been a few years since I've been there. And sometimes I would go there in high school. I would get a peanut butter parfait, and it wasn't that expensive. You have the peanuts and the chocolate at the bottom, then in the middle then on the top too - so three layers with the vanilla. I tried it again, and the price was outrageous and there was only chocolate at the top - there was nothing on the bottom and nothing in the middle. So by the time I was done with the top layer, there was no more peanuts or chocolate. I love peanuts!

Last thing you ate that just blew your mind? Mexican hot dog off 32nd Street and the 202. I've been craving that for a while. Even though those hot dogs are different than my home town, they have a lot of different ingredients and they're really, really, good. It's this little tiny stand, and they're very friendly too.

What's always in the fridge at home? My mom's food. My mom's salsa. Alvin's said as a joke that she's the salsa lady, because every time my family has a get-together, or even if it's just friends, they always ask her to bring the salsa because everyone loves her salsa.

What inspires you? Family. My parents, my brothers and now Alvin, who's becoming part of my family. Family is very important. I don't think of it as me or myself. I think of it as who I am, what I am, what I've done, what I will do is based on that.

Anything you won't cook with? In terms of the paletas, we won't put in any of those crazy things that they might add to other things, like stabilizers. We want to keep it traditional, like paletas from my hometown, everything natural and fresh.

This is part two of our Chef Chat with Alatorre. Check out part one and check back tomorrow for a paletas recipe straight from Paletas Betty's menu.