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'Chinese pizza' grows in popularity in Italy

ALMS|Updated: February 22, 2022


Yongjia wheat cakes sold at the Xiangmanlou restaurant in Prato, Italy. [Photo/]

The famous Chinese restaurant Xiangmanlou in the Chinatown within Prato, Italy has been drawing locals with its crispy and juicy wheat cakes baked in traditional Chinese ovens.

Wheat cakes are a specialty of Yongjia county, Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province.

The cakes have been nicknamed by the Italians as the "Chinese pizza".

The restaurant offers only 100 cakes per day, with each costing six euros ($6.78).

Jin Dengpan, 45, the restaurant owner and a Yongjia native who has been living in Italy for over 20 years, said it was nostalgia that spurred him to sell the wheat cakes.

"Pickled vegetables with meat is the most classic flavor for Yongjia wheat cakes. This is the only flavor we sell in Italy," Jin said. "I'm not planning to increase the supply because my focus in on quality and authenticity and not quantity."

Yongjia county has in recent years set up a specialized wheat cake department and offered firm support to its wheat cake industry. The shops selling Yongjia wheat cake in China have increased from about 100 at the beginning of 2019 to more than 500 by the end of 2021, with the annual output value increasing from 120 million yuan ($18.95 million) to 500 million yuan.


Italians who ordered the Yongjia wheat cake. [Photo/]

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