Friday, April 18, 2014

What is a Blini?

So, what is a blini? It's the big question asked today that has a delicious answer.

A blini is a thin pancake that uses yeast and this leavening agent alters its taste and texture. Although blinis are similar to crepes, blinis are generally more thicker than your usual crepe. In addition, a traditional Russian blini is made with yeasted butter and is left to dilute in boiling water or milk.

 In contrast to blinis, crepes  are made from an un-yeasted batter comprised of flour, eggs, and milk. This explains why crepes are much thinner than its' counterpart.

In early Slavic times, blinis were made to symbolize the sun. Traditionally, they were also prepared at the end of winter in celebration of Maslenitsa, e.g., "Pancake Week" since it's an indulgence often enjoyed before Lent.

 Did you know that Blinis are popular in the United States? Yes, and they are also prepared in different ways. For starters,  blini batter is sometimes filled with raisins, apples or potatoes. Often times, they are covered with honey, jam, sour cream or caviar.

Blintzes, or Blinchikis (Russian definition), on the other hand, are rolled up blinis with meat, cheese, cabbage, onion, or mushroom fillings.

Blinis are a popular dish enjoyed before Lent and even for Easter brunch. Especially when you pair them with honey and good company.