Food

8 April 2021

You must have heard a Boza seller shouting “Boooooza! Booooozaa!” walking around with copper kettles on cold winter nights. Boza is an indispensable classic of winter nights and without a doubt and the first place to come to mind is the historical TarihiVefaBozacısı. To briefly talk about its history, boza was a dark-colored, watery, and sour alcoholic beverage in the ancient days. Hacı Sadık Bey changed its consistency with his own recipe (millet, water, sugar) and transformed boza into its current heavy, light-yellow-colored, and sweet-sour form. People loved this new taste and Tarihi Vefa Bozacısı opened its first business in 1876. Still carrying the feelings of the past, Vefa Bozacısı preserved its historical touch through minor restorations.

Once you visit it, you will see happy faces pouring boza from a large marble kettle into glasses, sprinkling cinnamon on top, placing the glasses on large trays. The trays are filled quickly once they are empty. You can use a spoon or directly drink from the glass.

 

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Like two peas in a pod, boza is most definitely served with roasted chickpeas... Vefa Bozacısı does not serve roasted chickpeas. Vefa Leblebicisi serving across the street comes to the rescue for many years. People who prefer boza with roasted chickpeas visit Vefa Leblebicisi to buy some chickpeas. This way, both establishments help the other for a fair gain.

What are the benefits of boza?

There are many benefits boza can provide. As a source of vitamins and energy, Boza was consumed by soldiers to preserve their strength. It helps milk production; it is mostly recommended for nursing mothers. It is very rich in Vitamin B, which is beneficial for digestion and immune system. This beverage is also ideal for healthy nutrition as a meal replacement.

What does “Bozacının Şahid Şıracı” mean?

Boza and Şıra (stum) were consumed as alcoholic beverages during the Ottoman era. Şıra was an alcoholic beverage similar to wine, while Boza was a beer-like alcoholic beverage. Back then, there were places called the “boza houses”; which were the same as taverns. “Bozacının Şahidi Sıracı” is a proverb meaning “the blind leading the blind”, indicating that because both tradesmen sell similar services, neither of them isa credible and trustworthy witness.   

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