What Italians eat, a study reveals dining preferences region by region


What do Italians eat? It depends on where they live. Specific eating habits are ingrained in each of the 20 regions that make up the Belpaese, as shown by a study by ‘italiani.coop,’ the research tool of Coop Italia’s research office. Scrolling through the regional records, it is easy to recognize the mark of local tradition. But there is no shortage of surprises.

What Italians eat, regional firsts

Famous for its arrosticini, Abruzzo is not surprising when it appears as the first region for sheep and lamb consumption, with an average annual expenditure of 81 euros per family.

The same goes for Campania’s record in the consumption of tomato paste (56 euros per family per year on average), a food that dominates in Campania’s kitchens and the main ingredient in the topping of pasta and pizza.

Top consumers of typical Italian foods.

World-famous Made in Italy foods and beverages appear in the ranking of the most purchased products. Pasta, extra virgin olive oil, white and red wine, cheese, breadsticks, coffee, cookies, to name a few.

The largest expenditure (201 euros) to buy dry pasta and fresh pasta, including stuffed pasta, is in the Marche region.

To Emilia-Romagna belongs the highest expenditure for wine (192 euros), while the highest outlay (204 euros) to buy olive oil belongs to families living in Liguria, and for cheese to Lombardy (489 euros).

Breadsticks are depopulating where they originated

Other confirmation in consumption related to tradition? In the home of the Italian breadstick, Piedmont, there is the highest expenditure in Italy (512 euros) to buy bread and breadsticks (the record is also attributed to Aosta Valley, merged in the statistics with Piedmont). And Trentino Alto Adige is confirmed as the home of Italian yogurt (161 euros), consumed mostly in northern regions.

What do Italians eat? A few surprises

One unexpected figure concerns Sicily, Italy’s top buyer of chicken (336 euros). But he is not the only one.

Famous for its wines, Friuli Venezia Giulia surprises by emerging as the top buyer of chinottos (90 euros). And Lazio is the leading consumer of milk (294 euros).

The cup of coffee? In Sardinia

It is easy to think that the largest consumer of coffee is Campania, where espresso is of inimitable goodness. But the data disprove this belief. The first region for coffee consumption (173 euros) is Sardinia. And Campania is only seventh in the ranking.

Cookies or homemade cakes?

Campania, on the other hand, is the land of cookie consumers (152 euros), followed immediately by Lombardy. Of all Italian regions, Calabria buys the least. But one only has to look through the data to find that cookies in that land are made at home. The highest consumption of sugar and flour is precisely located in Calabria.

The full research is available here.