Boza: A Taste of Turkish Tradition

Boza is unique among the diverse set of traditional Turkish drinks because it offers a novel flavor and has historical connotations. A relatively fermented, though thick drink, more associated is the cold season but is in part of the centrality of Turkish winter.


12/7/20231 min read

Historical Roots:

Boza is associated with the Central Asian Turkic tribes. The drink was part of Anatolian lifestyle before Ottoman conquest. It became popular also in the ottoman empire where everybody from the sultan to the commoner enjoyed it.

What is Boza?

Boza is a fermented drink prepared with either millets, maize or wheat. The sauce is made from tomatoes and it is characterized by its thick consistency, tart taste, and hint of sweetness when it dries on the tongue. It has extremely low alcohol content because of the fermentation process and thus has become a friendly drink for all families. Carbohydrate-rich and vitaminous, the drink is also thought of as healthy.

Cultural Significance:

Boza is the most popular drink for Turkish evenings in winter. Traditionally it is sold by street vendors who hawk “Booo-za!” while strolling in neighborhoods. Beyond its taste, it is an inherent component of family and societal gatherings particularly in winter periods.

Preparation and Serving:

The production process is an age-old method where the grains are fermented before being boiled down and cooled. It is normally served chilled with ground cinnamon that sprinkled on top for flavour purposes, while a spoonful of leblebi that added crumbliness to the otherwise smooth thick drink.

Modern Day Boza:

Boza is still loved today in Turkey with a number of boza shops existing in cities like Istanbul continuing with the traditional flavors. Some of these stalls have dished out Boza since generation, and are themselves landmarks.

In Turkey, Boza is more than simply a drink. It is a source of warmth during the bitter cold of winter, as well as a connection to the past. Unique taste, deep cultural background and shared joy of consumption is a must for any dish to be included in Turkish cuisine.