March 17, 2024

A Pancake a Day...


A Pancake a Day...
Delicious, but not nutritious. The Russian Life files.

How many Russian pancakes should you eat during Maslenitsa? Probably none. But if you were going to, Izvestia has you covered.

A recent article by the state-owned news agency recommended eating only one or two blini at a time. After all, according to the article, blini are full of carbs and fat (and plenty of calories) but absent just about everything else.

Should that recommendation be too stringent, the piece does allow a cheat day: a healthy eater could have one day to indulge in as many as six or seven of the sweet snack. Of course, there's also the filling: fruit and jam are recommended over something less healthy.

Maslenitsa, or "Butter Week," is Russia's version of Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, and Mardi Gras: it marks the beginning of Lent with a celebration tinged with pagan influence but leading to Orthodox Easter. During the week, participants eat fatty and indulgent foods (like blini) that won't be permitted once Lent begins. often, Russians burn an effigy-witch to mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

Whether or not many Russians take heed of this nutritional recommendation is yet to be seen, but we're doubtful. And there is this sobering tale by Anton Chekhov, about the consequences of over-eating blini.

 

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