Boza is a favorite ancient drink with oriental flavor for both young and adults.
It is believed that it was produced for the first time in the 10th century and over the years the recipe has spread and acquired a different appearance in the separate countries. Nowadays, boza can be drunk freely in countries such as Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and others.
According to the Europeans, where boza is drunk, the Orient begins.
The old Thracians, Greeks and Slavs had used the millet to prepare the drink.
Today boza is prepared by alcoholic lactic acid fermentation of a variety of cereals. Such can be wheat, barley, corn and others according to the region. The sugar content of this dense drink is achieved by adding sugar, glucose, and in the recent years also aspartame or other sweeteners.
The millet, from which the classical boza is made, has the following chemical composition – macronutrients: protein – 8.4 g%, fats – 2.3 g%, carbohydrates – 65.42 g%; micronutrients: calcium – 14 mg%, phosphorus – 327 mg%. Usually 5-8 l boza are made from about 1 kg millet.
When preparing boza, we aim the starch to degrade to dextrin, disaccharides, monosaccharides (glucose), which are more easily absorbed by the digestive system; proteins break down to peptones, polypeptides to amino acids, which are absorbed much more easily. This degradation is possible through alcoholic fermentation of the lactic acid bacteria.
The chemical composition of boza after 48 hours of fermentation is the following: water – 87.96 g%, dry matter – 12.04 g%, fats 0.41 g%, protein 1.2 g%, alcohol 0.16 g%, carbohydrates 9.58 g%.
Moreover, boza contains vitamins from the group B (B1, B2, B6, etc.) in varying and not so large amounts. That’s why it is recommended in shortage of the vitamins from the group B and particularly in lactoflavin deficiency.
Boza is useful in loss of body weight (1/2-1 l per day) and for recovering from severe infectious and other diseases, as some of its ingredients improve the balance of the spent substances.
According to the Bulgarian tables (acad. T. Tashev), 100 g boza gives 50 to 86 calories. Boza is also a good drink for breastfeeding mothers, as it boosts lactation. Lactating women can consume ? -1 l boza every day.
The morbid microorganisms die quickly under the conditions of lactic acid and acetic alcoholic fermentation. That’s why the boza also has antimicrobial action, like yoghurt.
The carbon dioxide, which is produced as a result of the double fermentation in the folk drink, facilitates the digestive processes through release of more hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach lining and thus the degradation and absorption of nutrients is improved. That’s why boza is recommended in certain forms of nutritional disorders (dyspepsia). Fresh boza may be consumed by patients with gastritis and ulcer disease of stomach and duodenum. In lazy guts, the slightly sour boza enhances peristalsis and normalizes their function. The patients with diabetes can drink boza, but in limited amounts, prepared with sugar substitutes. It is calculated in the everyday ration of carbohydrates for each patient.
In morbid obesity and nutritional regimes for weight reduction it is better to give up boza.
It can be consumed by patients with high blood pressure – but not more than half a liter a day, provided there is no overweight. For children and adolescents, the boza is a healthy variety in their daily nutrition. If you are afraid to drink boza bought from a store because of the addition of all sorts of preservatives and enhancers, you can make it at home in order to be sure in the content and the benefits of this delicious drink.
You need yeast for boza which you can prepare by mixing 2 Tbs. flour, 1 tsp water and 1 Tbs. sugar.
The obtained mixture is left in a warm place to ferment and then is stored in the fridge. For the boza itself are needed 5 liters of water, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp flour and 1 tsp from the yeast or ready-made sweetened boza.
First the flour is baked until brownish color is obtained. It is left to cool down, then mixed gradually with tepid water. It is stirred well in order to avoid the formation of lumps and then the remaining amount of water and the sugar are added. The mixture is put on the hot plate to boil for 5-6 minutes. Remove and leave to cool, as the glass of boza or leaven is added. After 2-3 days of fermentation at room temperature the boza is ready for the fridge.
The nutritional science recommends this ancient and traditional for us drink, which quenches the thirst, improves the culture of eating and creates prerequisites for active work and good health.