Because Spaniards prefer eating fresh local food, Spain’s diverse geography and climate, which ranges from snow-capped mountains to hot sun drenched beaches, affects what people eat. For instance, thick stews and soups are popular in the mountains. Fish pies made with cold-water creatures like octopus and cod are favored along the Atlantic coast, while along the Mediterranean coast, shellfish stews rule. Despite these regional differences, all Spanish cooking refl ects the nation’s long colorful history. Favorite dishes such as paella (pah-el-yah), gazpacho
(gahs-pah-cho), and tortilla española (tor-tee-ya es-pahn-yo-la) are good examples of this blending of history and location.