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Snippets of Thyme

What an interesting sounding drink. I can't think of anything here that I can reference the flavors. I do, though, love roasted chickpeas so that would be delicious to crunch on.

The Turkish Life

Great pictures! There's still a boza guy pushing his cart up and down the slippery wintertime hill outside my house -- just heard his call last night :)


Hey Robyn, loved this post, it brought back sweet memories (when I was a kid growing up in Ankara on freezing winter evenings we always used to hear the bozaci do his rounds, but my mom who is french never allowed us to have some saying that she didn,t know if it was made with safe ingredients and clean utensils and containers etc... we also used to hear the "kalayci" who was a guy who went from street to street cleaning people's brass and copper pots and sharpen their knives on an incredible contraption!!!)
Though I must say I am more of a SAHLEP girl than a Boza girl! Same goes for the leblebi, I love leblebi but only the white ones! Just by looking at your photos I can picture myself there, just passing by the guys in the doner shop, I can even imagine the the smell of roasting chestnuts...! Thanks! Maya


It is said that new mothers favor this drink because it helps to producing more milk, like malt drinks.

Also, it is said one more effect of this drink on females is bigger breasts.


Wow, Maya’s winter evenings memories of bozaci rounds so reminiscing mine of Mian Cha (Flour tea – roasted (or in fact toasted in China) flour tea) – We used to call it Bee-bee Ah-be/uncle, the sound bee-bee from steam whistle attached to the mouth of a large kettle – the hotter the water the louder the whistle. They only came in winter late evening toward midnight. I’ve only heard them laying in bed or sometimes peeped through curtains out of curiosity to see who was buying and what was happening when I was a child. But I would never want to have some for the same reasons Maya had been given. The Flour tea of course originated from North of China – basically various type of flours are used and toasted, sesame is used – for the flavour and the oil. Popular in the veteran community back home in the 1950, but had since developed into a Taiwan-style winter ‘drink’ – toasted with lard, shallots and etc. A little sweet but also savory – very hearty and warming. Lard is the key for the flavour. I think in Tibet, they add in milk and maybe butter or some fat. How nice to know there are still pulled cart selling boza in Istanbul.


TTL -- that is so cool Jen! I wish I knew when to find him.

Snippets, I don't think I could compare the taste of boza to anything western, to tell the truth. Wouldn't want it everyday, but it's interesting.

Hi Maya -- thanks for the lovely memories. Sahlep is easier to love for sure -- I am actually more of a tea girl than *either* a boza or sahlep girl (both are rather filling). And I'm ambivalent about leblebi. If there's not raki or beer to hand, I prefer them eaten together with some nice grapes.

Katy, that sounds amazing! Yes in Tibet they drink yak butter tea (I found it foul in the mid-80s but my tastes have changed alot and I think I wouldn't mind it now), sometimes thickened with tea. Wow. Would love to taste the tea you describe. Thanks for the comment.


Sahlep and boza definitely have their fans, and I love both. I made boza before with yeast however, if you save a portion of the first batch, make a second batch with that, it tastes better, without the very yeasty trace (in my opinion at least, dont care for yeast taste much). My grandfather used to make a batch every winter from previous winter's batch.
Beautiful pictures. I am on my way to Istanbul visit my family this Wednesday and I am hoping to come back with many memory snapshots like this.


I've heard of sahleb, one of my favorite drinks, traditionally thickened from the root of an orchid, hence the name. The spice store sells the orchid starch but most vendors use corn starch, a much cheaper alternative. Have yet to try Boza, looks good! Great pictures as always.


Hi Ilke -- I think there is yeast in the linked recipe. I haven't tried making it myself but I do wonder if I'd like it even more if it was home made. Enjoy Istanbul! Gosh I love that city.

Hi Sarah - yep, most sahlep is not the real thing, though even the not-real-thing on ferry on a cold wintry afternoon is pretty nice. The cafe at the Istanbul Culinary Institute serves sahlep made from scratch. Didn't get to try it this trip. Next winter, for sure.

Still Served Warm

This is really a great post!


Boza sounds great! Although the recipe you gave seems to suggest that it might take quite a lot of time to prepare... Maybe I should just go to Istanbul and have it for real, instead?!

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