For Italians, food isn't just nourishment but a way of life; a form of art that has influenced food culture far and wide! The roots of Italian cuisine go back to antiquity and are characterised by regional diversity, particularly between the north and south. Throughout the Peninsula, Italian cuisine is noted for its quality and simplicity. Simple recipes are preferred over elaborate preparations, to allow the natural flavours of the ingredients to shine through. Coffee, especially Espresso, has become a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and is commonly consumed throughout the day and after meals.