Dish Blini is Part of Russian Culture

Russian blini garnish with strawberry hearts Photo

Russian Pancakes Blini

        Blini are thin pancakes formed by heating the batter on a pan. This quick, delicious and diverse dish is an essential part of Russian cuisine and traditionally used wheat and buckwheat flour to form the batter. Later these blini pancakes are served with various garnishes to supplement your delight. Traditionally we serve blinis with sour cream, melted butter, caviar, and fruits or berries varenie (compote).

      Because of the long history of blini, different cultural values of Russia are associated with it. Let’s talk about them.

Photo Russian Blini

 

Russian Holiday of Blini Maslenitsa Is The Sun Festival

Photo 2016 Russian Maslenitsa Photo

The photos were taken by my friend at the actual blini celebration in Russia in 2016

      Maslenitsa (Masleniza / Масленица) also called “butter week” or “pancake week”, is a well-known winter festival of Russia. Celebrated in the last week before Great Lent, this sun festival is ravished with different meals, with Blini as one of its main featured dishes.

     The festival is celebrated for the upcoming spring, and nothing can be better than a dish symbolizing the sun itself. Why? Because sun brings warmth, happy days, healthy crops, and happy marriages, and bliny is not less of happiness for us too.

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Photo Maslenitsa Carnival Russia 2016

Russian Kurnik Pie Is Pie Made With Blini

    Russian Pie Russian Pie Kurnik Photo

In the photo above, Kurnick made by me.

        Our Russian traditional chicken pie or Kurnik Pirog has blini inside it. The dough of this pie is a yeast dough, unlike American Pie, and is filled with a different filling between blini. My Kurnik I layered with boiled eggs, chicken, onion, and mushrooms. This fulfilling meal is a traditional wedding dish and looks a lot fancier than my in the picture. Actually, to make a real wedding Kurnik is an art and very time-consuming process, especially large ones. What links this meal to prosperity are the unique signs on the pie. These signs go back centuries and represent hope and well wishes for the new family. As an example, often we see a pair of swans on Kurnik. Why? Because these birds represent faith, love, and commitment to each other for life. Unfortunately, this wedding tradition is not so popular in modern days but we still making Kurniks for our families.

Photo Russian Maslenitsa Carnival Holiday 2016 Winter Photo

Blini As The Ingredient To Make Other Dishes

Russian Pancake Pie photo

In the photo above, pie made from blini with mushrooms onion, and sour cream.

      Blini is great to make more than you need and then use to make other dishes later. We can make stuffed blini with a variety of fillings, pies, rolls, or make blini s pripiokom. Blini s pripiokom when we are adding additional ingredients on the top of blini on the skillet. If we have leftovers of pancakes, we can reinvent another dish with it easily. We can also freeze blini, and it would be good as new after we reheat it.
But beware if you put it in the freezer because it can vanish anytime. It happened to me. I planned to use my frozen blini for breakfast, but they were gone. Someone from my family ate it already.

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The Best Pairing For Caviar Is Blini

Photo How to serve caviar Russian style on blini

      Small size blinis are very common to serve caviar in many restaurants in the world. We can buy premade blinis in some delicacy stores in the USA or make them. If you don’t have time, to deal with small blinis, I share with you the trick. Make normal pancakes and use small cookie cutters to make small circles. Now we can have small blinis to make caviar canapes. Each blinis will be so perfect and very presentable on the Holiday table. It is short cut but works great!

Check my detailed article about caviar ⇒ How to Serve Caviar Russian Style Fancy And Fun Ways

3 Well Known Russian Sayings Related To Blini

     Blini are so tight to our culture and it reflects in our language as well. For example, we have many saying related to blini but I am going to share just the most popular and well-known by any Russian person. Saying “Go to mother-in-law’s house for blini” (К тёще на блины) means if you want to reconcile with someone, eat a meal with them. Everything will fall alright, and your relationships will improve. Why mention mother-in-law? Because a relationship between son-in-law and mother-in-law is not always pleasant. Man maybe doesn’t want to go visit wife’s mom but can look forward to eating delicious mother-in-law’s blini.

    “The first blin comes crumbled” (первый блин комом) is saying means to encourage someone to continue to do something, if at the start he was not successful. This saying is base on the technology of preparation blini. The first blin can stick to the surface of the skillet and if it happens we can take out it only crumbled. However, if we use more oil and heat up the skillet more, we can successfully continue making blini.

Another saying or expression is “she (he) doing it like blini making” (как блины печёт). It means the person making something so fast and in a large amount. For example, she is talking like blini making.

Photo Russian Winter Holiday Maslenitza Carnival 2016 Photo

    This ancient dish with many traditional values attached to it is no doubt, a diverse form of cuisine. With many alterations all over the years, Blini never failed to please the people. From gratifying the people with its variety of fillings to its traditional sentiments, this dish proves its value. Though Blini has changed a lot from the way our ancestors made it. However, some things are destined to stay forever, like our love for this delicious and easy-to-cook dish. These tasty circles are like a Sun on our Plate and happiness in our lives.

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Russian blini garnish with strawberry hearts Photo

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10 replies
    • Gala
      Gala says:

      Eve, it is great to introduce kids to our traditional recipes! The favorite Russian dishes for my American part of the family are blini, of course, chebureki (fried turnovers, so many details to make them right), manti (steamed meat dumplings), Russian honey cake, golubzi (stuffed cabbage rolls). My favorite husband breakfast bagel with lox and cream cheese but if I offer to make blini, it is always “Yes” and he prefers blini over his bagel:)

      Reply
  1. Mariyam
    Mariyam says:

    Thank you for the article! I didn’t know blini were used in other dishes or that mother-in-law saying, it was very interesting. :)

    Reply
    • Gala
      Gala says:

      Thank you so much, Mariyam! I really appreciate, your comment. When I see a response from my website guests, it makes me motivated to share more about our culinary culture, our dishes, and food traditions.

      Reply

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