The love of ice cream is a worldwide phenomenon and, with the likes of Italian gelatos, Americans ice creams, sorbets, and soft serves, it is an all-time favorite treat. Ice served with a side of fructose or glucose may have proven to be all the rage, but now it is time to look at the foursome behind Williamsburg’s new ice creamery – The Republic of Booza.
While at first glance this may seem like boozy ice cream, it is, in fact, quite the contrary. Rather, it is a stretchy, taffy-like, frozen treat, that requires no cream or eggs like the classic gelato. Rather, booza uses milk, mastic sap, and sahlab, which gives the ice cream flexibility.
Moreover, the concoction of booza is not churned but is pounded with huge wooden mallets, and then pulled and twirled around. With the sticky and cream-free consistency, the ice cream is able to thrive in higher temperatures and won’t drip down your hands as quickly as most ice creams.
With regular ice cream served at -4 to 5 degrees, booza is served at 12 to 15 degrees, with its density allowing for more flavor to be carried. The “original” flavor of the booza is called Ashta is Lebanon, and imbues a piney flavor that pairs with elements of rose and orange blossom waters in a beautiful way.
Moreover, booza is ideal without a cone, which differs from a regular ice cream. It is recommended to use a spoon to pull out a long string of ice cream, allowing it to twirl, stretch, and loop around. As soon as it hits your tongue, it dissolves as quickly as cotton candy, with the flavor lingering after each bite.
While booza originates from the Middle East, with all four owners having associations with the Middle East, they hope to introduce New York City to the traditional booza. In fact, the four men hope to even raise a few eyebrows of classic booza-makers by experimenting with new flavors and offerings at their compact, North 4th Street spot.