THE BOZA – A UNIQUE BEVERAGE AND A FOODSTUFF
The boza won recognition in our country as a national non-alcoholic drink a lot earlier than all other non-alcoholic beverages. For many decades it found a place in the everyday life of the people not only as a drink, but as an auxiliary foodstuff. It is considered that the boza is of Persian-Turkish origin and from there it spread around other countries. According to the statistical data per capita boza is consumed most in Bulgaria, followed by the countries of former Yugoslavia, Albania, Turkey, less in Romania and Greece. The boza has many valuable qualities as a beverage and a foodstuff. The beginning of its laboratory testing was laid by the professors Toshko Petrov and Asen Zlatarov, who gave the first data about the composition of the millet boza produced during their time. The production at first was carried out in open cauldrons and was pretty primitive. The now-existing technology was built upon a long production process, hard manual work, poor hygienic conditions and low output.
For the production, for example of 150 litters of boza, were necessary about 20 – 25 hours.
Thus, the boza brewing used to be a purely artisan product until 1946, when was the beginning of its production from rye and closed apparatus – autoclaves, with indirect and direct steam at high temperature and great pressure.
Apart from being palatable and tasty it also heals. Many ancient tribes, which inhabited Asia Minor, Pre-Caucasus and the Balkan Peninsula, were familiar with the boza. The ancient Thracians, Greeks and Slavs used millet for brewing boza. Nowadays, boza is brewed mainly from millet, but also rye is used and even corn.
The millet from which boza is brewed has the following chemical composition: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus. The calcium has an anti-inflammatory effect, the magnesium relieves the nervous system, the potassium has a diuretic effect, the sodium is needed for the water balance of the organism, the phosphorus participates in the function of the muscle and nervous systems. At the brewing of boza, it is aimed the starch to decompose into dextrin, disaccharides, monosaccharides (glucose), which are easier absorbed by the digestive system; the proteins decompose into peptones, the polypeptides into amino acids, which are actually absorbed.
The chemical composition of the boza after 48 hours fermentation is as follows: water, dry substances, fats, proteins, alcohol, carbohydrates. Apart form this, the boza contains in variable small quantities vitamins of the groups B – B1, B2, B6 anti-pellagren etc. 100 gr. of boza provides the organism with 45 calories. The lacto-aciduous bacteria, taken together with food in the form of yoghurt or boza, having reached the intestines remain there, and in favorable conditions start their activity, by producing lactic acid. This acid inhibits the development of putrefactive microbes, which develop especially at the consumption of food rich in proteins, and gradually drive these microbes out. Through the lacto-aciduous bacteria, a natural disinfection of the intestines is achieved. Due to its scantiness of fats and richness in carbohydrates of the lactic acid, the boza is a very good drink for prevention from gastro-intestinal disorders, especially during the hot summer months.