Food from the World: Blini

It’s Russia’s time to enter the stage. When it comes to the Russian cuisine we can say for sure that these guys have a particular way of cooking. But in some cases, they do manage to have recipes that are similar to the most popular ones on the market. Like blini, for example. I know you’ve never heard of it, so let me translate it for you: Russian pancakes.

What are blini?

Blini are the thin pancakes that are made of batter and are cooked on a hot pan. Just like the pancakes that we all know and love.

Photo source: recipestudio.com
Photo source: recipestudio.com

Their history starts in Russia and at the beginning of times they were made of oat jelly. Apparently, a hungry traveler wanted to warm the composition before eating it but got distracted and left it to fry. And this is how the first blin got to come to life.

The blini are present at every Maslenitsa festival symbolizing the sun and celebrating the future arrival of the spring. This festival lasts for a week and in ancient times people used to eat nothing but pancakes. In fact tradition says that the women who prepare this type of pancakes will bring health, success and a rich harvest in their house. But these wonderful pieces of heaven were not eaten just during the festival. They were also given as a gift to newborns, for good luck and they represented a compulsory dish at most funeral feasts.

The frying pan

You might assume that frying some blini is not a thing that requires an MA and a PhD. But you might be wrong. In order to make blini, women used exclusively cast iron skillets that were never washed but merely wiped and cleaned. Salt was used in this process and the pan was sprinkled with salt, heated and then wiped with a dry cloth. This was the equivalent of washing it. Only after doing this were people ready to make their delicious blini.

How to combine them? 

Photo source: russianfoods.com
Photo source: russianfoods.com

Most of the time blini were eaten with various compositions: wild berries, sour cream, potatoes, onions, meat, mushrooms, honey, fish, jam, cheese and for the lucky ones: caviar.

Blini recipe

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, vegetable oil.

How to prepare: start by whisking the milk and eggs. Then add the dry ingredients.

Next, grease a frying pan with some vegetable oil and let it heat. Using a ladle, put the batter in the pan and cook the blini get a crispy, brown aspect. Turn on the other side. Repeat as many times as you wish!

Add your favorite filling and serve. They’re delicious!

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