Travel isn’t just about seeing the sights anymore, it’s also about the food too. Food tourism has seen a steady increase in the last few years as people share their dishes more and more on social media and everyone goes “I gotta try that!” No one knows this better than the Hanna (AKA Hannashian) sisters, who have grown a loyal following from sharing their love of food.
“We started our food-stagram three years ago simply because we eat out all the time and we thought we might as well document it so we can let everyone else know where to eat. We’ve tried a lot of amazing food around Sydney, but the food we ate on the Contiki Munch trip was some of the best we have ever had!”, the Hanna sisters explained.
You’re probably thinking “Duur, of course food is important while travelling, I kinda need it to live!”, but what the Hannashians are talking about is that rapturous experience of trying a local favourite for the first time that just takes the pleasure of eating beyond necessity and into pure joy. It’s just something else.
So what is it about dining abroad that makes it different to eating out at home at a local favourite? The sisters explain that it’s because food is immersed in culture, and when you eat it in it’s original setting, you learn about life in that country. “Food and travel definitely go hand in hand. I mean, can you really have a great holiday without trying the traditional foods from the places you visit? It takes your whole experience to another level,” the Hannashians say, “When you are eating out in other countries you’re not just tasting their food, you are also meeting the locals, socialising and really experiencing what makes the country so special.”
While testing out what makes a French McDonald’s different to an Australian one, a true foodie dives into what an area is known for. Anyone who has been to Naples knows that eating delicious, delicious pizza is even more delectable where it was created. “We never thought we would be lucky enough to get the chance eat certain foods in the places they originated from! We had the pesto from its hometown, Genoa, and also mortadella cheese from where it’s from in Bologna,” the sisters explain.
"The food is always so lovingly made in Europe, you can see it and taste it when you're out and about. It’s beautiful to experience."
The fun of trying something totally unique and maybe not on your usual menu is also half the joy of eating everything while travelling. “Of course we eat a lot so it’s hard to find something crazy or out of the ordinary for us,” the girls said, “BUT we did get to try snails in France which was great as we had never had them before.”
Choosing a favourite dish was a little more difficult though and the sisters made their final decisions based on more than just the dish, but the experience surrounding it, proving that feasting while abroad is a reason in itself to go. “It’s so difficult to pick just three amazing meals, but tapas in Barcelona at El Xampanyet, the famous pesto pasta and beautiful seafood in Genoa, the home of pesto at Antica Osteria Di Vico Palla and this local obsession in Florence, All’Antico Vinaioa, a panini shop with a line down the street.”
GENOA 🍝 The home of pesto yummmm!!! I dunno what was brighter the pesto or the sunburn 🤔lol…anyway this restaurant was beyond amazing! Literally exactly what you expect from Italy, delicious food, wonderful service and the best atmosphere ever!!!! If you go to Genoa, it's a MUST! We are loving how this tour goes to lesser known areas and gives us lots of me time to explore and discover places like this 😍#contikimunch 🍝🍝🍝🇮🇹🖤🖤🖤
However there was one day in particular that as a whole stood out as the best day EVER, and food played a big part, but so did being immersed in the local culture “Our favourite day was definitely the day we spent around Tuscany. The day started in Florence and our trip manager (who is just the absolute best in the business), Cam bought us all pizza from a 100+ restaurant. AMAZING. We then went to San Gimignano where we had the best gelato in the world and Aperol Spritzes on top of a hill overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Following this we went to a restaurant on top of another hill and were taught how to make traditional risotto from scratch, followed by a casual seven courses of amazing Italian food. BEYOND! Best day ever, Rochele even said ‘this has been the best day of my life’. No lie.”
Besides endless opportunities to eat, the Contiki Munch travellers also got cooking classes by local chefs and the avid cookers let us in on some of the wisdom that was shared. “We learnt that simple is always best, don’t complicate your dishes, especially when cooking Italian foods,” the Hannashians said.
But most important was this tidbit…
"In Tuscany the chef told us to never add cheese to seafood dishes."
We would never have learnt that without travelling! Check out the Hannashians vlogs of their foodie adventure on Contiki Munch: