The ban of foie gras in New York City will not go into effect on Nov. 25, as a lawsuit brought by two Hudson Valley farms winds its way through the legal system. On Sept. 15, a New York State Supreme Court judge issued an injunction regarding the ban of the fattened livers of ducks and geese, first passed by the New York City Council in 2019. The court ruled that the two Hudson Valley duck farms, La Belle Farm and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which sued in May over the ban, can continue to sell the livers to restaurants in New York City and issued a preliminary injunction on enforcing the law by the city while the matter makes its way through the court system. The passage of the prohibition was a triumph for animal rights activists, but the farms’ owners cited economic hardship, including the loss of business and 400 jobs, if the ban were to go into effect. They also claimed that the City Council exceeded its authority because the law had to do with farming practices outside the city.
A Well-Balanced Bread Knife
Steelport Knife Co., a company in Portland, Ore., which specializes in American-forged carbon-steel cutlery, now sells a bread knife with heft. It is heavy but well-balanced, 10 inches long, with a handsome polished burled wood handle. Task it to cut through delicate loaves as easily as crusty ones, slicing but not crushing. The blade’s serrations are less pointed than many, and contribute to the knife’s ease of use.
Bread knife, $450, steelportknife.com.
How to Substitute Ingredients
Bigger and better describes the third edition of David Joachim’s “The Food Substitutions Bible,” an alphabetical compendium first published in 2005 and now with some 8,000 listings, from A.1. Sauce to Zwieback. Descriptions of ingredients, substitutions, measurements both metric and Imperial, cross-references and even pronunciations enrich the entries. Some substitutions can be store-bought; for others, like ajvar, a Balkan sauce, there are recipes. Charts give types of rice, lentils and dal, pan sizes, eggs and more. The entries for salmon and for caviar could be more complete, but that’s a small quibble. The book is extremely easy to use, and provides proof that the printed page can be more efficient than the internet.
“The Food Substitutions Bible: 8,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment & Techniques” by David Joachim (Robert Rose, $49.95).
Learn to Bake Khachapuri Online
Judith Norell, an owner of Silver Moon Bakery on the Upper West Side, has offered baking classes from time to time. This fall and winter she will teach four virtual sessions, an hour each, on Saturday mornings covering challah (and variations); khachapuri, the Georgian cheese bread; schüttelbrot, a flatbread from South Tyrol in Italy; and ricotta cheesecake, including homemade ricotta. Recipes, with suggested equipment, will be available to those who enroll.
Online Baking from Silver Moon Bakery, Classes Oct. 8, 29, Dec. 10, Jan. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m., $25 each, $90 for four, silvermoonbakery.com.
The choices of high-quality tinned seafood from Spain keep increasing. A new line of imports by Lucia Flors and Carlos Leiva, a Spanish couple living in Los Angeles, offers popular varieties: sardines, mackerel and bonito tuna preserved in extra virgin olive oil. They also offer tender small squid (chipirones) in olive oil; it is excellent sliced and mixed with diced tomato and garlic as a tapa, or added to pasta sauce. Mussels in pickled oil, escabeche-style, call for toothpicks and a glass of manzanilla. All the varieties are sustainably harvested off the Atlantic coast of Spain.
Siesta Co., $35.95 to $44.95 for five 4-ounce tins, siesta-co.com.
Discussing a ‘Life in Food Politics’
In her new book, “Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics,” Dr. Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health Emerita at New York University, reflects on her long and groundbreaking career. She will discuss it with the food writer Laura Shapiro in a program next month run by M.O.F.A.D., the Museum of Food and Drink. The event will be live, in the Greene Space in Hudson Square and can also be streamed. Copies of the book can be included in the ticket price.
“Slow Cooked: An Evening with Marion Nestle and Laura Shapiro,” 7 to 8:15 p.m., Oct. 6, M.O.F.A.D. Museum of Food and Drink; the Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street (Varick Street), in person, $30, virtual $10, plus $30 to include a copy of the book; mofad.org.