Vefa: Boza

Located in the historical peninsula, Vefa is an old neighborhood at Fatih district. Vefa lies roughly northwest of the eastern section of the Aqueduct of Valens and is rich of sights like the Kalenderhane Mosque and Vefa Church.

Located in the historical peninsula, Vefa is an old neighborhood at Fatih district. Vefa lies roughly northwest of the eastern section of the Aqueduct of Valens and is rich of sights like the Kalenderhane Mosque and Vefa Church.

Besides its historical sights, Vefa is famous with its boza. Boza is a fermented bulgur drink with addition of water and sugar. Accompanied by leblebi (roasted chickpea), boza consumed mainly in the winter months and sold by peddlers wandering through the streets and calling out “Boo-zaa”.
A traditional drink around Balkans, boza is rich in carbohydrates and vitamins. It’s known that the Ottoman Empire was feeding the army with boza.

The story of Vefa Bozacısı begins on 1870, when Hacı Sadık Bey immigrated from Albania to Istanbul and settled in Vefa, where mostly aristocratic families and members close to the Sultan’s Palace had their private houses and residences.

A that period boza produced with a sour tart flavor and was rather juicy with light consistency. Hacı Sadık Bey, began to make a boza that different in flavor and taste and thick as consistency. In 1876, he registered the tradition of boza making both as a profession and a trademark with the brand name, the Vefa Bozacısı. For many years, Hacı Sadık Bey produced his delicious boza, so much liked and preferred by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and by those close to the palace.

The business passed on from father to son and today at the historical boza shop at Vefa, the past is still alive with the same taste. At Vefa Bozacısı you can taste boza from October till April. From April, boza leaves its throne to şıra (shira) a special juice produced from raisins. Vefa Bozacısı is a place to taste a 130 years old recipe.

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