Oakes (17274) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 18, 2005
I sampled three different varieties at the Jayma Bazaar in Osh. Bozo is a very popular drink in Kyrgyzstan, though not as popular as kymyz. I basically saw a kymyz stand and went to sample some, since I was on a kymyz-sampling kick. It was explained that three bowls in particular were bozo, not kymyz. Honestly, my Russian is crap but when you’re on the road, somehow you learn a lot from two or three words. They were really curious to have me taste all their bozo. This subsided as they grew even more curious about me writing...in Latin script. They still think all white people are Russian there, as evidenced by my getting harassed by the cops at the Jayma about an hour before my visit to the bozo stand.
Bozo is made from millet and is graded by acidity. It looks like cream of wheat. It’s thick, not unlike African sorghum beers, fairly clean with lactic acidity. Texturally it is somewhat mealy, but not in the pick your teeth way of sorghum beer. It’s smoother than that. Flavour - clean grains, plain yoghurt, that sort of thing. Fairly bland, really, but then it’s low alcohol so you’re intended to drink a lot of it. My score is basically a default score for this unique and ancient beverage. I preferred kymyz myself but this is well worth trying if you make it Kyrgyzstan.