At the fifth Dranikfest in Mogilev, half a ton of potatoes were eaten in the form of pancakes. And according to tradition, they trampled down a huge Colorado potato beetle - more precisely, its dummy. And also - they danced Belarusian dances, sang along with Belarusian songs and chose an institution in Mogilev, where the most delicious pancakes are prepared.
The Dranikfest festival is not only about potato pancakes, says Yuri Stukalov, head of the Center for Urban Initiatives. This is a holiday of Belarusian national cuisine and culture. Although potato pancakes are at the heart of the holiday.
Therefore, behind them - free to the tables of competing teams - every year people traditionally stand in huge queues. For an hour and a half! This is not surprising: according to preliminary calculations of the organizers, the festival was attended by at least 10 thousand people.
There were six teams this year. And each one polished two sacks of potatoes, turning them into the main dish of the holiday. Aksakal Dranikfest - the team of the Mogilev State University of Food - prepared for the jury's assessment a whole tower of potato pancakes symbolizing different countries.
We've learned everything for you, so write down the recipe. Add parsley, dill and spinach to the traditional pancake dough - you get green pancakes with a bright taste, symbolizing Belarus with its green forests and fields. Add mushrooms to the dough for "Polish" potato pancakes, a lot of onions for "German" ones, and rich meat seasonings for "Serbian" ones. To get "Lithuanian" potato pancakes, add mayonnaise and an egg to the dough. Put all five different potato pancakes in a pile, sandwich them with sour cream - the students, however, have come up with a special sauce with nutmeg, but it's secret - and sprinkle with cheese. Done!
The university team, by the way, are future economists, not chefs: to be honest. But theoretically, such a dish can appear on the menu of any institution, students are sure. True, everything was cooked on an open fire right there, at the festival site.
Potato pancakes could be bought: ordinary ones - for 2,6 rubles, with meat - for 3 rubles. Or eat something simpler: pancakes, grease, barbecue. And to wash down everything with free tea from the university of food or paid coffee at any of the catering points - a traditionally non-alcoholic holiday.
And in the competition for the most delicious potato pancakes at Dranikfest, the team of Metagarant Steel won. The winners say that the potatoes were peeled almost at work, and they were grated equally at home.
The "Golden Grater" award for the most delicious pancakes in the city was awarded to the restaurant "Bar XIX century". It was chosen in advance by "secret buyers" - members of the jury. And at the end of the holiday, they traditionally trampled down a dummy of the Colorado potato beetle, so that the next year would be rich in potato harvest. The main goal of Dranikfest, says Yuri Stukalov, was to make everyone feel like Belarusians, a nation with its own culture, traditions and language. Therefore, the emphasis is always on MOV, crafts, Belarusian music and Belarusian performers. And, of course, Belarusian cuisine.
Next year, Mogilev is also waiting for Dranikfest, already the sixth in a row. Perhaps it will be possible to make the festival international.