Blinis, buckwheat blinis! There is something magical about blinis. I’m not sure if it’s the buckwheat flour that gives them a lovely grainy texture or because the batter uses yeast and yoghurt and sits for at least a day fermenting or is it the topping of delicate fish roe and thick sour cream with a sprinkling of finely chopped onions. Maybe it’s the butter that they are cooked in.
No matter from which direction you are coming, they are pretty great. Better still, January is the traditional blini season in Helsinki. As I write this, at least four restaurants in the city centre are celebrating blini weeks. As nice as it is to eat out, I quite enjoy cooking them myself. It is an art form and they are definitely a dish that you need to watch while they are cooking.
Chatting with The Engineer on Sunday morning, I came to the realisation that blinis were one of the first dishes that I learnt to cook when I moved to Finland. It is also probably the one that took the longest to master.
Clockwise from top left we have Smetana (a lovely thick sour cream), chopped onion, roe from the European white fish and roe from rainbow trout. Note the different colours and textures of the roe!