An Italian immigrant has brought his authentic family recipes to Taiwan’s market. Nicola Fornasa met his wife in Shanghai, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to settle down in Tainan. After giving up a business career, Fornasa has become a professional baker. He uses the tried and tested sweet recipes created by his mom! Although they’re unusual in Taiwan, they go down a storm in a town that appreciates authentic food traditions as much as Tainan. Fornasa hopes that one day he can bring his mom over to see how far her recipes have come.

Nicola Fornasa touts his products at a lively market.

The Italian immigrant is here to sell his homemade cakes, the most distinctive of which is this sweet salame. It’s rare in Taiwan but Fornasa has been enjoying it his whole life.

Fornasa imports ingredients from his home region of Italy to make the salame, which is 85% chocolate. The chocolate is melted and mixed with other ingredients to form a sausage shape, then bound with string and set in a freezer.

Salame is a word most of us associate with cold meats or pork sausage. But don’t let it fool you! This cake, originating in Italy and Portugal, has nothing to do with meat.

Nicola Fornasa
Baker and Italian immigrant
You can find a charcuterie shop, the shop for salami, prosciutto, ham. But this one is only chocolate without any meat or other ingredient.

Before coming to Taiwan, Fornasa worked for a synthetic leather company. In his spare time, he liked to cook with his mother’s recipes to care for his homesickness. He never expected that one day he’d be a professional baker. His mother, who still lives in Italy, is astonished that her son has made a career out of her recipes. She still regularly handwrites a new recipe out and sends it to him, to bring novelty to his menu.

Nicola Fornasa
Baker and Italian immigrant
I’m lucky because I transform one passion in one business, and not so many people are so lucky in the world. So, for me, it’s just my passion.

Fornasa hopes that one day, he can bring his mother to Taiwan, so she can see how the sweetness of her ideas has won the hearts of Taiwanese markets.

This story was provided by the program "We Are Family"
Funded by New Immigrant Development Fund

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