Oil and Butter
Europe has always been divided into to main sections: oil and butter. South of a certain uneven and wavering line, but running approximately east-west from the Alps, is the land of the olive tree. North of this line the olive tree does not grow, so people tended to cook with butter rather than olive oil.
The dividing line can be seen in other ways as well, though there are plenty of exceptions. North of the line is the land of a three-crop rotation pattern; south of it we find two-crop rotation. Northward are heavier soils that require deep ploughing that requires oxen or horses. Southward the soil is lighter and can be worked with lighter ploughs or even by hand. Landholding patterns were different, agricultural slavery persisted longer in the south.
North of the Alps there was a secondary division between eastern and western Europe, but this was much less marked, and had more to do with landholding and conditions of freedom. Eastern Europe had been heavily colonized for two centuries by settlers from the West, especially from Germany and the Low Countries. These new settlements were characterized by freeholds, for offering freedom was a primary tool used to attract settlers. That began to change during our period, in two ways. First, the lords started to take deliberate steps to tie the peasant to the land. Second, east Europe began to specialize in monoculture, on its way to becoming the breadbasket for western Europe. Both these changes began during our period but would not be completed until the 17th century. But the east-west divide was real and was perceived as such by contemporaries.