Tasty Travels: Blini, Russia

Pancakes are a tasty breakfast dish that are enjoyed the world over, but did you know Russia has its own version of this flat and delicious cake? Unlike Most pancakes, the Russian variant is flatter, almost like a crepe. It is called the blini (or blin).
The blini was first conceived when a traveler in an ancient Russian times was trying to warm some oat jelly for a meal, when it hardened as he was distracted and turned into a fried cake. Nowadays, it isn’t just oat that can be used in blini but buckwheat, rye, wheat, and barley. Blini was such a big part of traditional cuisine that it is said a person lives with it from birth till death. There are traditions where women who have just given birth are supposed to eat blini to bless a newborn and that it is also a meal that should be served during funerals.
What’s in a blini, though? Much of the things you use to make a perfectly normal pancake are included: eggs, milk, sugar, salt, flour, and canola oil. Using a preheated pan (as flat as you can find), quickly pour in the runny blini mixture on top of the pan and flatten it out as soon as it touches the hot surface. Try to spread it out as evenly as you can and adjust the heat to medium when necessary. Once you have a batch of them cooked, you can spread jam, or sour cream on them. Another alternative is to stuff them with all kinds of fillings like mushrooms, potatoes, onions, honey, fish, meat, or even cheese.
Give this flexible Russian treat a try when you can and take a historic bite into this delicious dish.