02/10/2014 07:08 am ET Updated May 13, 2015

15 Food Reasons Italians Are Better At Life (PHOTOS)

Flickr: davidarimedia

As much as we love our spaghetti & meatballs and fettucini Alfredo, we would gladly give them up for an authentic meal in Italy any day. This hot-blooded country serves up plate after plate of simple, well-rounded pasta dishes. They are masters with the eggplant. And they have blessed us all with the greatest way to use lady fingers: tiramisu. But it's not just the actual food that makes Italy a food-lover's paradise. It's the way they think about their food that sets them apart from the rest.

In Italy, the coffee is hot and to the point, the mozzarella is fresh and the people eat with gusto. Clearly, Italians are just better at life than the rest of us. And that's just the short list. Read on for the 15 reasons that the rest of us should take notes on how to live from the Italians -- or why we should all just up and move to Italy.

  • 1 They Put Ice Cream IN Their Coffee
    Flickr: Breville USA
    It's like adding cream and sugar, but a lot more fun. This beautiful coffee drink is called an affogato.
  • 2 Making Fresh Pasta Isn't Reserved For Special Occasions
    The Simple Things via Getty Images
    It's a way of life.
  • 3 They Created Burrata
    Flickr: fred_v
    It's like buffalo mozzarella, only SO MUCH BETTER because it has the wonderful addition of cream.
  • 4 Olive Oil Runs Through Their Veins
    Flickr: Smabs Sputzer
    The average Italian consumes about 14 liters of olive oil a year.
  • 5 They Don't Mess Around With Freeze-Dried Parmesean
    Flickr: ejgrubbs
    They use the real deal, and they make it in these enormous wheels.
  • 6 They Put Their Leftover Risotto To Good Use
    Flickr: stu_spivack
    They shape it into a ball, stuff it with ragu, bread it and throw it in the deep fryer. It's called arancini and it's almost better than risotto. We commend them for their resourcefulness and respect their ability to fry just about anything.
  • 7 Spending 3-4 Hours To Make A Ragu Is A Totally Respectable Way To Spend Your Time
    Flickr: stuandgravy
    They have their priorities straight.
  • 8 All Pizzas Are Personal Pizzas
    Flickr: John S Y Lee
    Which means you don't have to share -- ever.
  • 9 Eating Multiple Courses Is The Norm
    Flickr: ReneWendt
    Why settle for one course when you can have three? While this tradition is fizzling out, Italians were known for their long elaborate lunches consisting of apertif, antipasto, first plate, second plate, salad, cheese, dessert, coffee and a digestif. It still happens on special occasions and should be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
  • 10 Their Wine Flows Like The Mississippi
    Andreas Levers via Getty Images
    Since Italy is the NUMBER ONE producer of wine in the world, it's only natural that they aren't stingy with it.
  • 11 In Italy, It's Customary For People To Want To Feed You
    Flickr: paulfrizzank5
    It's a way express courtesy, and you should always say yes. Not to be nice, but because if you refuse you'll be missing out on the best meal of your life.
  • 12 GELATO!
    Flickr: Bruce Stokes
    With a history dating back four centuries, it's no wonder that Italian gelato is so masterfully created.
  • 13 They Understand The Greatness Of Artichokes
    Flickr: kommik
    Not only do they fry them beautifully, but they've turned them into an liqueur known as Cynar that is enjoyed as a digestif aperitif.
  • 14 This Is Breakfast
    Flickr: maywong_photos
    Italians don't eat a big meal for breakfast. They usually have a cappuccino with a sweet pastry. While that might not sound like a great thing to all of you out there who want your eggs with bacon and toast in the morning, it is, and we'll tell you why: it means you have a lot more room for a multi-course lunch.
  • 15 Eating Is A National Pastime
    Flickr: captjoe06
    Not sports, not shopping, but eating. And it's held with reverence and gusto.

CORRECTION: a previous version of this story did not specify that Cynar was a liqueur commonly enjoyed as a disgestif.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes