Boza is a popular fermented drink consumed in many different countries, including Turkey, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania.
Boza is a malt drink, and there are many different types (the most popular been Bulgarian, Albanian and Turkish) as depending on the country it is made in, different ingredients will be used to produce it. In Albania it is made from maize and wheat, in Turkey fermented wheat is used, and in Bulgaria and Romania wheat or millet is used. The drink has a low alcohol content (approximately 1%) and is of a thick consistency, with a slight acidic but sweet flavor. The flavor however will depend on what kind of cereal is used to produce it.
The image above, shows a cool refreshing glass of Bulgarian Boza.
In a scientific study of Boza carried out by the Turkish Science and Technology Institute for Vefa Bozacisi, the drink was found to be very healthy and nourishing, one litre of the drink contains 1000 calories, 4 types of vitamins A and B, and vitamin E. Also in fermentation of the drink, lactic acid is formed, and this helps digestion. It is also recommended that women during their lactation period soon after giving birth should drink Boza, as it apparently stimulates the production of milk.
In Bulgaria it is part of the traditional Banitsa with Boza breakfast. Boza is a very popular drink across Europe, which is a contrast with the meaning of the word Boza, which is used to describe something as been bland, boring or low quality.
The drink is also produced all year round in Bulgaria, some other countries choose to stop production of the drink in the summer months as it easily spoils if not kept cool.
Bulgarian Boza :
Recipe for making your own Boza: (The recipe makes approximately 5 litres)
5 litres of Water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup of Boza or home made ferment
Slightly roast the flour (take care not to burn it).
Mix the flour with a small amount of lukewarm water.
Pour the mixture into a pan and fill this with the remainder of the water.
Add the sugar and put this on to boil, making sure to occasionally stir the mixture.
Boil the mixture for approximately 5-6 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
Add 1 cup of the boza or home-made fermenter, pour it in to a bottle container, and then leave the mixture in a warm room for 2-3 days to cause fermentation.
When the boza is ready, pour it in to seperate bottles, or containers of choice, and store it in a refrigerator.