In northwest Spain, in the province of Galicia, where Christian pilgrims trek to the shrine of Saint James of Compostela, the signs are written not in Spanish (always referred to here as castellano, or Castilian) but in galego, the Galician version of Portuguese. Political autonomy from Madrid and television that speaks galego increase the sense of separation from Spain. This heartiest of hearty soups is the Galician poster dish. It is similar to the Tuscan Ribollita, but you don’t want to press that point in Lugo or La Coruna. And, besides, the various meats in this soup make a decisive difference.
Is this Galicia somehow connected to the former province of Austria-Hungary of the same name? Some experts propose that they are both (along with other similarly named places across Europe) echoes of Celtic (Gallic) settlement. To add spice to the pot of this discussion, one ought to mention the principal lingering active relic of Austro-Hungarian Galicia, which stretched across a large swath of eastern Europe, from southern Poland south through the Ukraine. That relic would be one of the two main branches of Yiddish, Galitzianer. The other is Litvak, or Lithuanian Yiddish. Neither of these two Jewish cultural factions was entirely comfortable with the other, linguistically or otherwise, but both Litvaks and Galitzianers in their highly self-aware pre-Hitlerian heydays would have rejected any kinship with the Galicians of Spain—if they had known about them.