- The Plate
Russian Vegetarian Cooking Shines During Lent
During the Russian spring, the sun transforms into a pancake.
At least, that’s the folk story mothers tell their children while cooking blinchiki for breakfast. This flat, circular cake, which can be served for any meal of the day, is a symbol of the sun’s return to the cold, dark climates of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s served crepe-style, rolled up and slathered in honey or jam. Every bite tastes like a ray of sunshine.
But there’s more to blinchiki than folklore. The pancakes are the signature food item for the season of Lent, a time before Easter when many Russians give up eating meat. That alone isn’t surprising, but Russians are unique among Christians for the extent to which they take