We’re not quite sure what we like about boza , a drink made from slightly fermented millet that is popular in Istanbul during the wintertime. The thick beverage tastes like a combination of applesauce and beer-flavored baby food, though we warmly recall the strength it gave us one blustery December day. On that relentlessly rainy morning as we crossed the Bosphorus aboard the ferry from Kadıköy to Eminönü, just one small bottle of boza gave us a sharp kick in the britches, making us feel the way we imagine Popeye does after wolfing down a can of spinach.
During the winter months only, boza is sold late at night by a few remaining old-school roving vendors who call out the two-syllable word with a soulful touch that slices through the cold, damp Istanbul air: “Booo-zaaaa!” While we love hearing this late-night chorus, it can be tough to make the trip down from the fifth floor to the street at midnight when the central heating has just kicked in.
We prefer to stop by earlier in the evening for a cup from Damla in Kurtuluş.
Read the rest of this review at Culinary Backstreets .