Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia - - TRENDING -

In the Viet­namese coastal city of Danang, a Span­ish Willy Wonka is cre­at­ing mas­ter­ful ar­ti­san con­fec­tionery just like his grand­fa­ther taught him. Barcelon­aborn Vic­tor Ceano-Vi­vas Savall hails from five gen­er­a­tions of con­fec­tion­ers, and their fam­ily sweet shop, Pastel­ería Reñé, has been a city leg­end since 1892, sup­ply­ing Span­ish kings and no­ble­men their can­dies. Savall came into the fam­ily busi­ness at an early age, work­ing along­side his grand­fa­ther to pre­pare the desserts.

Af­ter train­ing as a pas­try chef, in 2016 the then 21-year-old ap­pren­tice de­cided to set up shop in cen­tral Viet­nam, en­chanted by the scents of mar­ket spices and trop­i­cal fruits he re­called from reg­u­lar sum­mers spent trav­el­ing the coun­try as a child with his fam­ily.

Savall makes all his lol­lipops, can­dies and choco­late bon­bons by hand, and uses all lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, such as cane sugar, or­ganic ca­cao, fresh gin­ger, turmeric, pas­sion fruit and honey. He also hand­crafts his own molds, draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from royal in­signias of for­mer im­pe­rial kitchens and myth­i­cal crea­tures, like the fly­ing dragon candy, a homage to the Dragon Bridge over Danang’s Han River. In just two years, Savall has turned his fam­ily tra­di­tion into an icon of Danang—his can­dies are now also avail­able in lo­cal cafés, at the Four Sea­sons Nam Hai and the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Danang. That smells like sweet suc­cess. pop­keo. com; lol­lipops from VND24,000.

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