What is Boza and How To Make It?
Surprisingly many visitors to this site are interested in recipes for making boza. I guess that's because they never tried it :D Joking aside, it has a specific taste. There is a good chance that you won't like it. Or maybe you'll love it. But first let's figure out what exactly boza is.
What is boza
The best source of scientific-like explanation on this topic is the Wikipedia page. It quickly breaks the myth that boza is Bulgarian drink. There are plenty of other countries that make it. Currently the Bulgarian boza is made mostly from wheat. Sometimes you can find boza made of rye and that one usually tastes better. The Wikipedia's article claims that boza here is also made from millet but good luck finding millet boza in the stores.
Most of the boza available here in the stores or the bakeries contains artifical sweeteners. Read on to see where you can drink more natural boza.
Where to drink it in Bulgaria
Boza is available in most small and big stores plus the bakeries and some lunchbars. Unfortunately most often this is the low quality version with artifical sweeteners. Besides it's not good to drink aspartame, the taste of this boza is not very good and not that close to the good real boza people made years ago. The price of this boza is around 1 lev for 0.5 litres bottle, or less. You can find it in small bottles of 0.3 l or so, up to 1.5 l bottles.
In some supermarkets you can find "organic" boza made with sugar. It's a better option. It's often made of rye. This boza is of course more expensive than the more popular one.
Your best bet to drink real, fresh boza that is closest to the thing people made in the past is to go to ethnographic complexes like The Old Dobrich or Etar. In such places boza is made locally and is fresh, coming from a tap in the wall. It's well worth the experience, at least in The Old Dobrich (I've tried it myself).
How to make it
Already tried boza when you were in Bulgaria and trilled to make some yourself? No, you are not crazy. We also like boza. Just like you want to make boza now, I wanted to make kwass after trying it in Georgia. So, here you go. Some recipes suggest that you need to buy some boza first in order to make more at home. Here's one such recipe. This is a bit dull because when you are far away from Bulgaria it's hard to find boza (unless you buy expensive one online).
Here's a better recipe, making boza "from scratch":
- 1 teacup water
- 1 teacup sugar
- 2 spoons flour, preferably millet flour
The boza itself:
- 2 teacups flour
- 5 litres water
- 2 teacups sugar
You need to make the yeast 1-2 days in advance. Mix the yeast ingredients and leave for 1-2 days to ferment.
Then bake the flour in a dry pan until it becomes brown. Let it cool out in a big pot. Pour the water and mix it well, try to avoid forming lumps. Add the sugar and boil for 7-8 minutes while mixing all the time. After the thing cools, add the yeast and forget it for 2-3 days until the boza ferments. Store it in the fridge.
If you keep a cup of your homemade boza for the next time, you can use it to make new boza (i.e. you'll avoid making yeast again). Here's a version of this recipe in Bulgarian.
comments powered by Disqus