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Gwen Ashley Walters
January, 2011, Page 134
Photo by Nicole Roegner
A native of the central Mexican state of Michoacán, Betty Alatorre often thought about the humble but fresh street foods found in her home state, wishing she could bring a part of that culture to the United States. This past July, her dream came true when she opened Paletas Betty in historic downtown Chandler.
are Latin popsicles, usually made with fruit. An ardent believer in fresh ingredients, Alatorre makes paletas with fruit she ripens on the shelves in her bright, cheery store. Because she uses fresh fruit, never frozen, some of her paletas flavors are seasonal and change frequently, like the mora (blackberry and lavender).
The creamy arroz con leche, based on her mom’s rice pudding recipe, is always on the menu, as is the chocolate flavor, made with Mexican chocolate and spices. She even toasts pecans for the nutty nuez flavor and grinds canela, Mexican cinnamon, by hand.
Unwrap a Paletas Betty pop and you’ll notice a tiny bite missing from the top corner. Alatorre designed the custom mold for her paletas using her own teeth to make the mark on the mold – her signature, so to speak.
“We thought it would be unique, but now we print ‘The bite means it’s OK to eat’ on the package,” she says, after noticing quizzical looks from customers. It only takes one bite to taste the passion Alatorre pours into each fresh, flavorful pop ($2.49 or $2.79).
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