Welcome to a blog dedicated to enthusiasts of the colorful and exciting world of Betty La Fea. Philippine's "I Love Betty La Fea" soap opera is based on the Columbian telenovela ,Yo soy Betty, la fea, that has spawned over 20 editions worldwide. This website has been established to offer a portal connection for fans of any Betty La Fea adaptations around the globe. The Betty La Fea saga is not just a franchise but a universal organization for everybody to share their country's culture and sensibilities.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Betty La Fea is a dish...Bibiquiful!

By Abe Florendo
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

HUNKY men who cook— you see more and more of them on TV and the movies—are edging out our stereotype image of chefs (there’s the classic taba in your favorite restaurant in Chinatown) and trotting out dishes that are as chewy and delectable as their abs. Are the best dishes served on TV today? Maybe. Too bad you can’t taste them.

Now comes a twist to on-TV dinners: dishes that come to life from your favorite program on TV.

“I Love Betty la Fea,” the soap opera on ABS-CBN Channel 2, has inspired Bacolod Chicken Inasal (BCI) to create a new style of chicken barbecues that Betty would love to eat with gusto, without straining her fake designer bag and “Eco Moda” meals (named for the advertising agency where she works) that her bosses John Lloyd Cruz and Ruffa Gutierrez would spend on, given their big representation allowance.

If you’re puzzled about what I’m talking about, tune in to Channel 2 at 8:30 p.m., after “Dyosa” (“Dyosa”? Are we muddling it further for you?) on weekdays. But before you do, let me tell you what: Two of the best reasons for viewing “I Love Betty la Fea” are 1) Watching how the lovely Bea Alonzo, as Betty La Fea survives her bad hairdo and clothes, her thickened eyebrows and teeth braces and gives a credible performance and 2) Watching how Ruffa Gutierrez can be the most beautiful villainess ever created on TV.

How about the meals designed after the show? Taste them for yourself. BCI has come up with “Betty-friendly” bbquitos (small barbecues) that Pinoys love to eat on the sidewalks. “We went sampling all the well-known barbecue places in Manila and Cebu and the provinces,” says Bing Tanalgo, chef of BCI, “and we came to know that basically, Filipinos love in their barbecues the sweetish and spicy taste and the reddish or orangey look; not to mention, of course, the easy-on-the-pocket price.”

BCI has thus created the appetizing and budget-friendly Bbiquitos—the Chiquito (chicken), Ataquito (atay or liver), Batiquito (chicken satay, liver and gizzard), Porquito (pork), Isolquito (pork, liver, tail) and Batiquito (pork, liver and tail)—that you can order in combos with garlic rice and a 12-oz glass of iced tea thrown in.

I’ve sampled these Bbquitos at BCI’s newest branch at the Fastbytes Square in Filinvest Northgate in Alabang (surrounded by buildings housing call centers), and I’m sure that budget-watcher Betty would loosen her purse strings for them. It’s also the favorite of the call-center zombies who keep BCI open 24 hours everyday. But would her bosses at Eco Moda go for the more “sophisticated” meals BCI has designed for them?

These sophisticated meals are the Pollo Galantina, a quarter of chicken stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables served with gravy; and the Liempo Sabroso, a no-fry pork dish infused with lemon grass and onion flavors with a dip and relish of tomatoes and onions.

The Pollo Galantina is a Tanalgo family heirloom recipe that would delight Ruffa Gutierrez’s Daniela if she had an old-family history backing up her pedigree and palate. (The show does not suggest as much; local TV dramas seldom bother with in-depth characterizations.) Ruffa’s character notwithstanding, the galantina is the best thing you can have for an everyday meal outside of fiestas and the Christmas holidays.

The Liempo (pork belly) is an unexpected matter: It’s roasted, not fried. Roasted (“Healthier,” says Tanalgo, and true enough), however, does not taste as good as deep-fried, in the good old, if unhealthy, way. BCI’s roasted liempo may take some getting used to.

Previously, Bacolod Chicken Inasal tied up with another popular ABS-CBN teleserye, Ysabella, which starred Judy Ann Santos as the chef whose restaurant was famous for its chicken dish called “Kinasal na Manok,” which BCI and ABS-CBN’s food stylist developed. That dish became known in all BCI branches as “Ysabella Chicken,” prepared with multi-regional ingredients including the little-known tabon-tabon, a hard nut indigenous to Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro, commonly used in these places in their kinilaw. It has remained one of the popular dishes in BCI even after the end of the Ysabella series.

Betty La Fea’s bibiquitos, if not Daniela’s liempo, may likewise endure longer than the teleserye, enjoyed by viewers long after Betty sheds her wig and braces and becomes the dish that she is. It only has to keep itself on the level of good old reliable mass taste.

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