Butter or Olive Oil?

It’s a common stereotype that southern Europe uses more olive oil and the rest of Europe uses more butter. But how true is this stereotype?

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Map Europe showing where butter and where olive oil is consumed more.

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Instead of blindly following the stereotype, I decided to have a look at statistics of the actual consumption of butter and olive oil in Europe. This map is based on consumption data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The results on the map show which one is consumed more annually per capita, butter or olive oil.

Interestingly, the stereotype is largely true. Most of southern Europe consumes more olive oil than butter. There is however one exception: Luxembourg. A small dot of olive oil in a sea of butter. This could be caused by the large number of ethnically Portuguese living in Luxembourg (16.4%). Or maybe people in Luxembourg simply prefer olive oil over butter?

Sadly, I haven’t been able to find any data on a smaller geographical level. It would be quite interesting to see if there are regional difference within countries. If you do come across this data, make sure to reach out to me!


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