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Boza in the palm of your hand, Source: Apostoloff on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

A fountain in Bulgarian town will flow with a local drink

A fountain in Bulgarian town will flow with a local drink

The municipality of Radomir will make a fountain, flowing with boza, a traditional beverage in the Balkans and Turkey made from a mixture of rye and wheat, water and sugar

Many small towns develop their own quirky tourist traps, to distinguish themselves and attract visitors. At the same time, these tourist traps can be a source of pride for the citizens, connected to an honoured local tradition that outsiders might not be aware of - be it the biggest ball of yarn or a donkey museum.

This is the case with the town Radomir in Bulgaria, as today, the mayor, Plamen Aleksiev announced the construction of a fountain dedicated to the local producers of a non-alcoholic drink called boza.

What is boza?

Boza is a drink made from a boiled porridge of rye and wheat, filtered and diluted with water and sugar, then left for a day or two to ferment. Similar drinks have been described as far back as the 9th century BC in the Mesopotamian civilisation, but the real golden age of boza came with the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

During the 16th century, the drink spread from the middle east to the northern coast of Africa and into the Balkans. It was quite popular among the Ottoman army, as a litre of boza contains about 1,000 calories, and vitamins A, B and E.

At the same time, and thanks to the fermentation, the drink has about 1% alcohol. However, getting drunk on boza is virtually impossible as one would need to consume prodigious amounts of it.

Radomir is a town in Bulgaria famous for its boza producers, so much so that that they erected a monument to honour the local artisans.

monumentA monument to the boza makers, Source: Biso on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Fountain

In an interview with BTA, the Bulgarian press agency, Mayor Aleksiev confirmed that local authorities have indeed commissioned a boza fountain. It will run the creamy drink instead of water and will have two noggins so that anyone can get a cup. At the same time, the fountain will serve 1-litre pitchers for the modest price of 0,50 euros.

Near the fountain, authorities plan to install a tourist information board pinpointing local attractions. The mayor explained that boza is an essential part of the local culture and that he takes pride in recognising the honourable profession.

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