Taste of Russia

‘Blini’ bonanza: Making real Russian pancakes in a real a Russian stove - Taste of Russia Ep.8

Glen’s curious to know if Russia has any holiday food traditions like America, where people eat turkey for Thanksgiving. Oscar says Russia has thousands, but the most famous is eating blini, or Russian pancakes, during the pre-Lenten Maselnitsa festival.  Glen suggests going to a restaurant to try some, but Oscar is aghast. Instead, he takes Glen to his friend Sergey’s in a real Russian village where they can make real Russian blini in a real Russian stove.

A wood-fired stove is the soul of any Russian village house, providing heat, hot food and water, and a warm place to sleep. Sergey explains that to bake blini, it’s essential to add yeast, or they’ll burn instantly.  The friends get to work, mixing milk, sugar, and yeast. While the microbes get to work, Glen and Oscar retreat to the yard to split some firewood and Glen’s skills seem to have improved since Episode 2.

Afterwards, they finish the batter by slowly adding flour. Now it’s time to make blini. Sergey teaches Glen the secrets of baking pancakes in a wood-fired oven, while Oscar shows off his ninja cooking skills by frying eight at once on an open grill outside. The friends then sit down to a blini feast. Oscar thinks Americans will find it strange that Russians eat pancakes with virtually anything, from jam, honey, and sour cream, to salted fish, caviar, and green onions. Only one question remains: will they have enough room to try all the combinations.

Blini recipe
Blini recipe

To find out, watch Episode 8 of Taste of Russia.