Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Boza Season: A Passing Moment of Fleeting Beauty

Boza, in and of itself is something interesting.

Just follow the link, it's worth it.

When I was pregnant, I was crazy for boza and went through like a bottle a day. In subsequent winters, the madness waned, but I still love the stuff. It reminds me of applesauce, especially with the cinnamon on top. Mind you, there's no applesauce in Turkey, except that which I make myself. Applesauce is something you don't really miss until you have to make it yourself, which isn't that hard, but still. As such, I can't think of boza as a drink, like something you chug from a cup. Instead, I put it in a cup and eat it with a spoon.

I'll pass on the roasted chick peas, but thanks for offering.
It's fucking yummy.

Though I would never eat it with leblebi, with a spoon or otherwise. Leblebi suck. No really, they do. They literally suck all traces of moisture from your mouth and get stuck on the way down when you swallow them. Quite why anyone eats these, I'll never know. I trace it to an old-days lack of Doritos, and I don't even like Doritos. Too fucking orange. And they smell orange but not-orange and I associate them with rooms full of boys and video games and that tube-sock freshness that accumulates.

Posing problems that would cross a rabbi's eyes!
Anyway, one perk of our neighborhood is that there are street vendor folk. They have a proper milkman out here, by which I mean the guy who's like Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof with the big pail and the scoop. I wouldn't ever get milk from that guy because I'm too entrenched in my American food safety issues, but still. It's cool. Just agree with me.

Actually, the other reason I wouldn't ever get milk from that guy is because I'm not sure of the protocol. I don't have the basket on a string to dangle off the balcony, and I gather one is expected to provide one's own milk receptacle. What sort of container might that be? I'm sure mine would be all wrong. And then, how do you know how much it costs? How do you know if he's ripping you off because you're foreign? And anyway, do foreigners often shout off the balcony when the milkman passes by?

So many questions, such deep confusion.

Okay, the street vendors. Tonight I'd just got off the phone with my friend and a sound vibrated through the living room. It was all wrong for ezan and not the right time. But there was something to it. Piercing and haunting. It didn't sound like guys fighting or neighbors keening over some tragedy, as they do sometimes. I swear there were some harmonics being hit there. My spine tingled in a good way and I ran outside to check it out.

Turns out it was the bozacı.


Best sound ever. And for a fleeting moment, life was sweet and beautiful.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yup - I got me some boza in the fridge right now. I sometimes heat it up, and mix in some milk, and eat it kinda like an apple-saucy version of cream-o-wheat. But more often, I just mix it with milk, raw egg, banana, and blend it for brekkie. Good stuff, that.

Erika said...

That stuff is amazing! The first time I had it, that's exactly what I thought as the texture and taste especially with the cinnamon is dead-on for applesauce. When I told the man it reminded me of applesauce. He said there were no apples. That kind of freaked me out. Thankfully, it wasn't anything disconcerting like a chicken pudding (wtf)...

Ayak said...

I've never actually tried boza but I think I ought to. It sounds really nice. (According to Wiki it "has been alleged to have an ability to enlarge women's breasts"...hmm interesting.

Mind you mesır macunu is supposed to cure everything from a cold or flu to heart attacks and cancer...

Stranger said...

Wow, boza milkshake, what a great idea!

I don't know if it makes your boobs bigger. I suspect that comes from the nursing moms thing-- it's a malt which can increase milk production (and I don't know if the malt thing is urban legend or true-- Right after LE was born I drank 3 bottles of this nasty malt shit from the eczane when my milk wouldn't drop, and it tuned out getting the MIL out of the house was the thing that did the trick, within hours). But LE always drank his milk so fast and often I have no idea if the boza was making extra...

Anonymous said...

:))) bizim boza herseye iyi gelir:)) harikasiniz, blogunuzuda cok begendim)

Stranger said...

My first comment in Turkish-- thanks! I'm thrilled!

Okudğunuz için çok teşekkür ettim!

(I hope that's right. It's in the realm of grammar I make up as I go along...)

Anonymous said...

Huh. Last week I heard someone singing around my neighborhood in a melodious voice (and at the top of his lungs) something that sounded like "Happy BIRTHday!" He circled meticulously around our block. Do bozacis go out singing at three A.M.? No? Then it must have been a drunk guy....

Stranger said...

Or a young feller in love...

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

god you guys make me laugh. I hve never had boza in all my years here and if it makes your boobs grow, then I never will!!!

Nomad said...

I went through my bozi phase too. I was curious, I tried it and I liked it and then I wasn't curious anymore.
Something about the thickness of it kind of put me off. Maybe I am too lazy to put that much effort into swallowing my food.
But... I do have a delicious memory of extremely cold nights in Turkey, the streets are empty and the eerie sound of the bozacu calling out. "Bowz jaaa... Bowz jaaa" His signature tune was particularly spooky because it was like a groan.

By the way, I used to call Leblebi "butt-nuts" because well, take a close look.