Blinchiki serves as the ultimate breakfast

By Kristina Kulyabina

Nothing gets me more than the smell of Mama’s fresh blinchiki crisping away on the hot frying pan.

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The Russian version of a crepe, called blin for short, truly beats all. Formulated with similar ingredients to that of a pancake, the final product is super thin, round and perfect. The batter is very thin to begin with after being intensely whisked to a soupy-like texture. It is then ladled onto a pan and cooked to a golden brown — until the edges are crispy — and then flipped to the other side in order to cook it evenly.

This serves as the ultimate breakfast, dessert or even snack. As a child, my favorite time to devour this treat was around 2:50 p.m., right when the bus would drop me off from school. I would always race through the driveway and up the stairs anticipating a scrumptious surprise. The most memorable moment rests with the first step through the doors — inhaling the light, sweet aroma. Mama hovers over the stove, apron covered in flour, with a pastry brush in her hand. She smothers one blin at a time, covering every inch with warm melted butter out of her small pot. I try to ignore my watering mouth as I quickly prepare my second helping before I even take my first bite.

Sometimes I like to drown the treat in a pool of butter, disobeying the “stay skinny” rules society imposes on women. My parents enjoy spreading homemade raspberry jam on the flat surface and then rolling it up into a little pastry. Blinchiki can also take on other fillings, such as cottage cheese. In some Russian kitchens, I’ve even seen the blin consumed with shredded beef. Any garnish of your preference, even caviar, will taste great wrapped in a blanket of golden comfort.

The blinchiki will certainly be devoured, and what’s better to wash it down than a perfectly complementing delicious cold glass of milk (whichever kind you prefer)? Perhaps, however, if it is a cool autumn evening, a warm cup of chamomile will also do the complementing trick.

Whatever you choose to pair it with, blinchiki is a fabulous Russian treat.

Kristina Kulyabina can be reached at [email protected]