Boza is a mildly alcoholic beverage that has been consumed in Turkey for centuries. It is made by fermenting wheat. It has a thick, creamy consistency, a slightly sour sweet taste, and a low alcohol content (around 1%).
Fermented grain flour beverages appeared in the world as early as the 9th or 8th millennium BC. In the territory of present-day Turkey, they arrived in the 10th century AD. Drinking alcoholic boza became popular, and unlike other alcoholic beverages, it was tolerated. When Sultan Mehmed banned the consumption of all alcohol (including boza) in the 17th century, there were over 300 stores selling this beverage in Istanbul at that time.
In the 19th century, sweet and non-alcoholic boza began to gain more prominence. The alcoholic version went out of fashion. In 1876, two brothers founded a boza store in the Vefa district of Istanbul. Thanks to its taste, it quickly became famous and popular throughout the city. You can still taste the boza beverage at this location today, with one glass costing 20 lira, or approximately 1.20 EUR. It is the only historical store that has been preserved, and the founders’ great-grandchildren still work there.
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