Viet Nam News
By Lê Hương
Confectionary markets in Đà Nẵng have recently welcomed a new product: organic candy “Pop” made by Vietnamese materials with Spanish secrets.
The sweet product is a brainchild of Barcelona-born Victor Ceano Savall, who has been settled in the coastal city for three years now.
His Vietnamese aunt and uncle have three restaurants in Hội An and one in Đà Nẵng, and Savall worked for the chain as a pastry chef two years before he moved to work for Nam Hai Resort.
“I belong to a prestigious family that has made candy in a pastry shop in downtown Barcelona, which opened in 1892 and has been a city icon since then,” he told Việt Nam News, “My grandfather taught me all the secrets to make every candy, chocolate and pastry.”
"After working in restaurants and resorts in Đà Nẵng and Hội An, I decided to make a candy company and use wonderful Vietnamese ingredients to make candies as my family did 120 years ago in Barcelona," he said.
His Pop candy is made totally from sugarcane honey, forest honey, coconut, natural cacao powder with colours made of flowers, like red artichoke flowers.
He has made his own machines to detract herbs’ essence, make natural colours, and cut and dry out candy.
Savall performs the entire process by hand--from cooking sugarcane honey, making honey paste, forming the candy shape and wrapping candy.
Since he uses no preservatives, the candy expires within 15 days after being made.
“My aim is to make traditional sweets with original Vietnamese materials while sticking to the highest quality standard that has been a proud family tradition,” he said.
Savall said he now can make at least 200 lollipops per day, according to order.
“Many people have been enthusiastic about my candies, while others show some surprise about an European man making handmade candies in Việt Nam,” he said.
“Many people after eating my candies told me that they got the flavours of their childhood,” he witted.
Impressed with Đà Nẵng’s Dragon Bridge, Savall designed his own lollipops in its shape. He had the mould for the product made by workers at Phước Kiều Bronze Casting Village.
Savall said he wants to stick to traditional handmade methods to maintain product high quality.
Apart from candies, he is specially interested in bonbons and chocolate products.
“I like traditional Vietnamese candies very much,” he said, “ In Barcelona, we have a special Christmas nougat that is very similar to ‘kẹo Sìu Châu’ [candy with seasame and peanuts often popular in northern province of Nam Định]."
“The kind of candy I’m doing now is another kind of sweet, but I’m sure that I’ll do something inspired,” he said.
The 22-year-old man revealed he liked to walk in the beach of Đà Nẵng, go around Sơn Trà, chat with sellers at markets, take a ride around the city and discover new places.
“The first time I came to Việt Nam I was six years old and I got impressed by the country in general,” he recalled, “Every single thing is special here, the friendly people, the species, the fruits, the jungle.When I saw all this together I didn’t want to live anywhere else.” — VNS