Monday, January 4, 2010

Bliny: Russian-Style Pancakes

Bliny are thin, Russian pancakes similar to the French crepes. Although Russian cuisine also boasts thick pancakes (called oladi) and pancakes made with vegetables (called bitochki), the thin doughy bliny are far more popular and widespread. They are eaten with a variety of fillings, from sweet to salty and rich to starchy.

At home, Russians often make piles of bliny from scratch and enjoy them simply with butter or sour cream. Honey and jam are also popular fillings. However, bliny are more than just dessert: they are often eaten as a snack or a small meal. At lunchtime, long lines usually form at food stands that make bliny to order on round grills in front of your eyes. These stands serve sweet bliny but oftentimes specialize in "mealtime" versions. Popular fillings include: red caviar (see above picture), smoked salmon (see below picture), mushrooms in sour cream, potatoes and dill, tvorog (a soft, sweet cheese), brynza (a soft, salty cheese), or ham and cheese. Thanks to my meat-eating husband, I have included a few pictures on this blog with meat in them. :)

Bliny can also be purchased frozen and then are often filled with jam, tvorog, or beef. This is a popular quick dinner or breakfast, since they can be easily reheated on the stovetop or in a microwave. Of course, bliny can also be found at expensive, five-star restaurants and at coffee shops.

1 comment:

  1. When it comes to food, experimenting with different flavors and textures is my thing. My nephews love blueberry pancakes, but those thin, Russian pancakes look perfect for their little stomachs. I’m sure they’d like it if I made those for them! Time to hit the kitchen once again!

    Hamish Liddell