Summer Vacation 2014: Istanbul
It has been years since my mum and I have been talking about going to vefa bozacisi to have boza (pronounced booooo-zahhh) and get the full cultural experience this 150-year-old tavern has to offer. Established in 1876 - the Ottoman Empire was still intact - vefa bozacisi has been honored by a visit by no other than Atatürk himself. Serving sahlep during winter and boza in summer months, the tavern is a definite must-go-place in Istanbul.
The drink itself has a very unique taste and texture, and I gotta admit not even I could finish my glass. It's rather sour, thick and has a sweet taste which the roasted chickpeas floating on top and sprinkled cinnamon could not balance out. Yes - you've read it correctly, boza is traditionally served with chickpeas and cinnamon. I like both but have never combined them in a milkshake before, so this was a first for me, too. But it's worth to try just for the experience. I had a nagging 4-year-old sitting beside me on a 150 year old bench, happily finishing up his drink, mixing it with lemonade and ice cream which kept me drinking. All the while I was looking at the wall right across the room where a glass case was hung holding Atatürk's very own drinking cup from 1937. This place screams history with every fiber.
And as if this wasn't historic and original enough the marble floor and wooden counter have been carefully preserved. A worn down marble step at the entrance shows proof to the many visitors vefa bozacisi has had during its century old existence.
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