Citizens, blueberry pancakes are not just an American favorite – they are actually enjoyed all over Europe and nowhere more heartily than Mother Russia, where Chernika Oladi (as blueberry pancakes are known there) are a favorite breakfast treat.
What makes the Russian version very different than the typical buttermilk pancake is its use instead of kefir, a probiotic dairy drink that is consumed with gusto in Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus region.
Kefir gives the same tang as buttermilk, but with all the probiotic benefits of yogurt. Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains” (a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter) and has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with these kefir grains to ferment.
Traditional kefir is fermented at ambient temperatures, generally overnight. Fermentation of the lactose yields a sour, slightly carbonated beverage, with a consistency and taste similar to thin yogurt. Kefir is available in most grocery stores and health food outlets – you want to use the unflavored version for this recipe.
This will yield some truly delicious pancakes for you, my Citizens – definitely worthy of trying!
Battle on – The Generalissimo