As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Europe is the height of sophistication. It's where the French nibble on lavender macarons and sip Champagne in impossibly well-fitting cashmere sweaters, and where Spaniards dine on duck breasts at sidewalk tables in Barcelona. But when it comes to what they think of each other's cuisines, well, it's not quite as clear who's the favorite.
At least it wasn't until recently. As it happens, Germans, Spaniards, and even Swedes are all so very enamored with Italian food above all. And it doesn't have to be fancy, so those pizza Nazis over at the Italian pizza-makers association should probably chill—takeout will do just fine, thanks.
Three of Europe's biggest online food delivery companies—JustEat, Delivery Hero, and Foodpanda—recently shared insight into their customer base with The Wall Street Journal, and all adoration for their native cuisines gets tossed aside when Europeans have the option of having a pizza arrive at their door instead.
That's right—Italian reigns supreme in at least 12 European countries, including Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and, of course, Italy itself.
And if you're wondering just how fond Europeans are of delivery and takeout, know that this year, they're projected to spend some $94.1 billion on it (up from $90.1 billion last year). Not exactly chump change.
The biggest lovers of Italian food are Montenegro, Georgia, Poland, and Austria, with Italian food accounting for 76 percent, 45 percent, 36 percent, and 31 percent of their food delivery in total. That's a lot of spicy meatballs! Who knew the Balkans were so crazy for bruschetta?
In Poland, pierogi is a mere 10 percent of orders. For shame, Poles.
That's not to mention the dire lack of patriotism in the UK, where Chinese food delivery and takeout sales outpace those of fish and chips by 500 percent.
There were a few exceptions, actually, when it comes to the Italian food obsession: Greece, Turkey, and Bosnia all have the self-love to favor their own feta and kebabs over an aluminum tray of penne alla vodka. But only them. (Greeks, it seems, are mostly interested in souvlaki, which comprises a third of total delivery and takeout orders in the Mediterranean nation.)
Thirty-eight percent of Turks prefer kebabs, and 59 percent of Bosnians opt for the familiar, i.e., ćevapi, also a grilled meat dish.
One other surprise: Florence's citizens are more than seven times more likely to order Indian cuisine than other Italians. No word on why they prefer curry to cavatelli, but at least they're breaking the mold of Italian food mania.
Now if only the Swiss would stop ordering that cheap German pizza all the time. Geez, guys.