Sunday, December 9, 2012

Draniki and United States Of Bacon


Some years ago a Belarusian friend promised to make me draniki’s if I visited Belarus. I didn’t visit, never got the chance to try authentic homemade draniki and it got forgotten until I saw it on Yuliya’s blog. It brought back memories and the urge to make it in my own home. 

The word draniki means 'having being grated'. It may not be the most enticing sounding name but don't let the word discourage you. With its crispy exterior and soft interior, draniki's are absolutely delicious. It is generally served with sour cream but I was quite happy to eat it on its own.

Russiapedia has the following to say about draniki:
Draniki originated in Russia some 200 years ago. The first mention of the dish dates back to 1830, though it is also said the dish was a kind of imitation of a German course. There are international variants of Russian draniki such as Ukrainian deruny or kakorki, Polish tartyuhy and Israeli latkes.

Draniki, quite unlike Japanese sushi or French fondue are not considered an exquisite dish. This is due to the “low origin” of the main ingredient – the potato.

There are numerous recipes for the dish that vary from family to family and from region to region. Some add onions; others who are more carnivorous add minced meat and still others mix grated potatoes with grated carrots.

But traditional Russian draniki are prepared in accordance to several fixed rules, the main one being never use flour when making draniki!

The traditional recipe just uses potatoes, onion, sourcream and salt. All ingredients are mixed, then fried. The traditional recipe looks interesting but I have already made something similar before, my baked version. The traditional version mixes sourcream with the batter whereas the ‘modern’ recipe serves sourcream on the side. Perhaps the Belorussians deconstructed the original recipe even before today's chefs knew what deconstruction means! The recipe for 'deconstructed' draniki is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo

Today’s Favourite Blog
Great news for bacon lovers, and heart attack for critics - Destination America channel will be launching a show dedicated to bacon. The show titled "United States Of Bacon" will premiere on December 30.

United States of Bacon (can we affectionately call it USB?) will involve California Chef Todd Fisher travelling across America in search of the tastiest bacon dishes. In the first episode, he samples a chunky peanut butter bacon cheeseburger, checks out a daily bacon happy hour, eats a garbage platter with five kinds of meat and then has some bacon-wrapped meatloaf and bacon cheddar apple pie. 

After a plethora of bacon dishes I thought the bacon crave would mellow down but looks like it is gaining momentum. It will be interesting to see what new bacon creations  come out in 2013.


  1. I wonder what the bacon show is going to be like! :o

  2. Bacon cheddar apple pie sounds interesting, I hope it airs here in New Zealand

    1. It certainly does, and for your sake I hope it airs in NZ

  3. Hi, your draniki look delicious, great finger food. Guess hard to stop munching if you put this in front of me. :)

    Best regards.

  4. It looks fantastic, but apparently Russiapedia is much less trustworthy than Wikipedia.... It's the first time I hear about this Polish name (it should be written tarciuchy, but I had to check the name because I had no idea who called it like this!); it's in fact a regional name and I also think (judging from the photos) that the recipe is different from the "national" Polish equivalent called "placki ziemniaczane" (potato pancakes). Its toppings depend on the region: some people eat it with salt only, some with salt and sour cream and some with... sugar!!!!! (Yuck!) I try to make them as rarely as possible because the Polish ones (the national ones, I have no idea about the tarciuchy from Malopolska region ;-) ) are soft inside and crunchy outside, but they are the best when really fatty.
    I love bacon! (By the way: these pancakes would be terrific with slices of crisp bacon!).

    1. I had never heard of Russiapedia before. It now seems to be even less trustworthy than Russian politicians, or any politician:)
      I've had placki ziemniaczane, very delicious, larger and more oily. Great on its own but not so excited about sugar!
      Great idea, bacon would have gone fantastic with the pancakes. Even better to fry it in bacon fat!

  5. I have had latkes but never draniki, would love to try and compare. The texteure is the best. Liz's rosettes rock! Oh geez, a show about bacon? Really? Will they show the host's quadruple by-pass too when he needs one?