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Exotic blini on offer during Moscow Maslenitsa festival

Exotic blini on offer during Moscow Maslenitsa festival

Between 9-18 February, people in Moscow will be able to sample colourful blini, blini-hot-dogs made with cevapcici rissoles plus bird-cherry (prunus padus) and pine-nut blini at festival venues.

Between 9-18 February, during the Moscow Maslenitsa (Pre-Lent Week) festival there will be over 170 kinds of blini on offer. Apart from the traditional fillings, which are usually salmon, caviar, honey or sour cream, there will be unusual orange, green, purple and even black pancakes, with the addition of edible charcoal. Beverages will include infusion of cones as well as fruit and berry drinks containing cranberries, raspberries or sea-buckthorn (hippophae).

In all, there will be 70 places where beverages, special food and blini will be on sale at 25 different festival venues. For the first time ever there will be a take- away service so that people will be able to order blini via an app. For free delivery the cost of the take-away should be at least 300 roubles.

For example on Revolution Square there will be pine-nut, bird-cherry and buckwheat blini with jam made from pine-cones, rose-petals, and  dandelions, accompanied by Mascarpone, bilberries and raspberries. Multi-coloured blini will be on offer filled with sausages, or cheese rissoles, as well as there will be  Korean Pyan Se steamed buns  with meat, fish and cabbage, or there will also be spicy carrot soup with coconut milk. Green, red, blue, black and yellow blini will be cooked using natural dyes, including spinach or edible charcoal, on Kamergersky Pereulok. They will be blini filled with mushrooms, cheese, chicken, fresh herbs or rosehip jam. It will also be possible to order Eastern dishes such as Tatar tarts, Belyashi deep fried meat doughnuts and also Chak-Chak (delicacy containing wheat and honey).

On Manezhnaya Square there will blini with aubergines and basil or with goat cheese and pulses as well as with baked apples and hot-peppers, or banana mousse or cevapcici rissoles. Blini will be cooked out of doors on Tverskaya Square. Included on the menus of some restaurants there will be blini filled with veal or salmon and pelmeni with rabbit stuffing (small dumplings like ravioli). On this square there will also be workshops showing people how to prepare beetroot blini, thick malt and hop mini blini, as well as blini with cheese and mushrooms or with apples and honey.

On Kuznetsky Most Street near the Central Department Store (TsUM) there will be blini made out of wheat, buckwheat, rice or potato flour. There will also be blini filled with different kinds of caviar, smoked salmon or with strawberries and ice cream. Other local foods that will be available to sample will include cottage cheese tarts with such things as rabbit with mushrooms, crab meat, smoked potatoes or strawberries with black pepper. People will also be able to eat fish soup, Goulash or also Solyanka (thick nourishing broth). Desserts will include a fruit cake served with smoky flavoured tea or blini cake with poppy seeds.

The upcoming Moscow Maslenitsa festival will be held at 25 different places all over the city. There will be concerts, theatrical performances as well as traditional games and lots of blini. Venues will be decorated with large art objects symbolising the Sun and the Maslenitsa doll in a folk costume. Manezhnaya and Tverskaya squares, Revolution Square, Tverskoi Boulevard, Kamergersky Pereulok and Novy Arbat Street will mostly have fairs, carnivals, folk-music concerts, theatrical performances and historical reenactments. The Kolomenskoye Park administration will prepare its own unusual programme.

The Moscow Maslenitsa festival has already become something of a tradition. The previous festival was held between 17-26 February 2017.Then it is estimated that 120 different varieties of blini were consumed, there was an attack on a large icy fortress in central Moscow, people admired an eight-metre high ice Tsar Maslenitsa and attended 845 cooking and handicrafts workshops. Last year’s Moscow Maslenitsa festival attracted over 4.5 million people.

The Moscow Seasons cycle includes the winter, spring, summer and autumn festivals. The city will host the Journey to Christmas, Golden Autumn, Moscow Summer, Moscow Spring, Easter Gift and Moscow Maslenitsa festivals, as well as the Times & Epochs Summer Festival of Historical Reenactments.

Festival venues are now opening, and free workshops, guided tours, concerts and theatrical performances, as well as quests and training sessions, will also be organised.