The celebration of Carnival — occurring this year just before Lent begins on Wednesday, Feb. 22 — is marked in Scandinavia with yeasted pastries variously called semlor (Swedish), fastelavnsboller (Danish) and laskiaispulla (Finnish), depending on the country. Made from cardamom-scented pastry, they’re split and overflowing with custard or whipped cream. In New York, Björk Café & Bistro in Scandinavia House will sell semlor all month, $8 each; and Ole & Steen, the Danish bakery with three locations in Manhattan and more to come, is also selling fastelavnsboller this month in vanilla, chocolate-raspberry, blueberry-hazelnut and coffee-caramel, $8.
Björk Café & Bistro, 58 Park Avenue (38th Street), bjorkcafe.com; Ole & Steen, 80 West 40th Street, 873 Broadway (18th Street), 518 Lexington Avenue (48th Street), oleandsteen.us.
Belgian Bakes and Traditions
Call it Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Carnival, the celebration is a fixture in many locales — among them Belgium. In “Dark Rye & Honey Cake,” a beautifully illustrated volume of recipes with history, Regula Ysewijn, a Belgian author and photographer, explores holiday baking traditions, notably for Christmas and Lent, through the lens of history. For home cooks, she has adapted old written recipes and dishes that appear in paintings and explains the evolution of traditions. So dust off the crepe pan and waffle iron. Pretzels also suit the holiday season, as does Priumenvlaai, a prune tart served on Ash Wednesday because prunes are black. (It’s one of several rich and tempting pies in the book.) A helpful note for American cooks recommends using medium eggs for the large eggs called for in the book.
“Dark Rye & Honey Cake: Festival Baking from Belgium, the Heart of the Low Countries,” by Regula Ysewijn (Weldon Owen $39.99).
Keeping Italian Wine Traditions Alive
Livio Felluga, the venerable winery in Northeastern Italy, has introduced three single-vineyard whites, a first for the company. Mr. Felluga, who gave his family’s vineyards prominence and died in 2016 at 102, was best-known for his high-quality pinot grigios and other local varietals that express the terroir of estates in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. (He put maps of the region on his labels.) At a tasting of the wines, Laura Felluga, 33, a granddaughter who has been the marketing director, said that she represents a younger generation. She champions the new wines, which she described as paying homage to her grandfather’s approach. The wines, all 2019, are Pinot Grigio Curubella, lightly floral with elements of fruit like fresh figs to make you rethink pinot grigio; Friulano Sigar, less common, earthy and nutty; and Sauvignon Blanc Potentilla, gently herbal, fresh and ready for spring. “Single vineyards best isolate and express the varietal character of the grapes,” she said.
Livio Felluga single-vineyard white wines, $65 for 750 milliliters, Empire State of Wine, esow.com.
Dutch Ovens Made in the Finger Lakes
In 2011 John Truex, a furniture designer, and his wife, Liz Seru, an artist, created Borough Furnace, their company in Owego, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes, to make cast-iron cookware. Mr. Truex had studied metal casting. They started with skillets and then introduced Dutch ovens, which kept selling out. They are available again with more supply in two models, one with a black enamel finish and the other pre-seasoned. The pots are roomy, effective braisers with a 5 ½-quart capacity, almost 11-inches in diameter and designed to be compatible with induction cooktops. The lids are dimpled on the underside for self-basting and have a flat handle. The drawback for some cooks might be the weight, 14.4 pounds empty.
Dutch ovens, enameled $325, seasoned $290, 607-223-4267, boroughfurnace.com.
The History of Table Setting
You may have observed the strict rules for laying the table on PBS’s “Downton Abbey.” They were developed in an earlier era, as examined in an exhibit about dining at its most luxurious from 1500 to 1800, opening Friday at the Bard Graduate Center. Based on old books from several countries with instructions for servants in setting the table and presenting various foods, the exhibition emphasizes the decorative arts with displays of utensils, linens, books and art works.
“Staging the Table in Europe 1500-1800,” Friday through July 9, Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Street, 212-501-3023, bgc.bard.edu, tickets are free for members, $6 for students, $12 for seniors, $15 general admission.
Bringing the Farm to the West Village
Kerber’s Farm, which was established in Huntington, N.Y., in 1941, has now opened a farm store in Manhattan. Nick Voulgaris III, a native of Huntington, took over the farm and its well-established store 10 years ago out of his love for it when he was growing up, and to save it from developers. He now lives in the West Village near the new store. It’s done in white with subway-tiled walls and marble-topped tables up front, and toward the back there are cases laden homemade pies, scones, muffins, vegetables, eggs and jams. The farm’s signature Cheddar-buttermilk biscuit egg sandwiches, along with other sandwiches, will also be available. Mr. Voulgaris said that he has long wanted to bring the farm and its products to a New York City location.
Kerber’s Farm Bleecker Street, 264 Bleecker Street (Morton Street), 212-837-2702, kerbersfarm.com.