Maslenitsa: Butter Week

Russian blini

Russian blini

Tomorrow is the last day of Maslenitsa, a holiday that roughly translates as 'butter day' or 'butter week', in Russia and other Eastern Slavic countries.  It is a widely celebrated holiday with pagan origins that roughly corresponds to Mardi Gras or Carnival, a time to eat lavishly before Lent.  Traditionally Russians eat Russian pancakes or blini, as well as blinchiki or blintzes.  Sometimes eaten with caviar wrapped inside, they can also be eaten with jam, honey, and other fillings savory and sweet.  Russian pancakes are large and thin and similar to French crepes.  They can be folded into a roll with filling inside, and this is the blinchik, known as blintzes which are found in Ukrainian and Jewish eateries in New York.

Blinchiki, or blintzes

Blinchiki, or blintzes


You can celebrate Maslenitsa at several Russian restaurants in Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach.  There is also a Russian cafe called Teremok that has two locations in Manhattan.  The company is a chain that has many locations throughout Russia that specializes in pancakes.  It has two locations in Manhattan--at 7th and 30th in Chelsea and 6th Avenue and 16th near Union Square.

Teremok, a popular Russian cafe chain that specializes in pancakes.

Teremok, a popular Russian cafe chain that specializes in pancakes.