07 February, 2010

boza

 

Boza is a traditional drink found throughout Turkiye, eastern Europe, and the Balkans. It's a fermented beverage with low (only about 1%) alcohol content, served here with cinnamon on top. The consistency - and flavor - bear a slight resemblance to a pudding or custard - thick and mildly sweet, but with sharp lactic acid undertones. It is made from various crushed or milled grains, mainly wheat or millet depending on the country of manufacture. Considered highly nourishing, with several vitamins and around 1,000 calories/litre, boza was - according to my Turkish friends, but not verified - once available with higher alcohol contents, a situation not unlike the shift from apple cider (a.k.a. hard cider) to unfermented apple cider (a.k.a. "sweet cider") in New England. Like many fermented foods, it requires cool storage to remain high quality, and was thus traditionally made and served only in winter.