Travel the World With Republic of Booza

Sarath Kareti
A Booza employee stretches out some ice cream to scoop. (Photo by Jorene He)

We’ve all been there before, mindlessly scrolling through the Instagram explore page, scouring its contents for anything that pleases the eye. Through the sea of fake lips and puppies, a decadent, stretchy cloud has made its way to the top: Booza.

It’s an aesthetic that combines the pleasures of watching slime videos with the indulgence of desserts. Booza is said to be one of the oldest forms of ice cream and originated somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. Now, of course, I’m not telling you to pay thousands of dollars in airfare just to try ice cream — though some self-described foodies may think it’s necessary; The Republic of Booza whips up this age-old soft serve right in Brooklyn. Patrons can try the dish through classic flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, to global flavors, like masala chai or horchata de chufa. For those who have adventurous palates, Republic of Booza has an experimental category where one can test out new flavors like Sichuan white chocolate or beetroot and chevre sorbet.

The Republic of Booza, which is in Brooklyn, serves both classic and “experimental” flavors. (Photo by Jorene He)

As soon as I walked into the Republic of Booza, every phone in sight was busy capturing the magic they had seen on Instagram: the wondrous pull of Booza. The servers dug their spoons into the vats of ice cream, collecting giant clumps of it and pulling as far as their arms would let them. The shop was one part restaurant and one part theater.

Ultimately, I couldn’t decide on one flavor, so I asked the server to surprise me — an omakase of Booza.

The texture was nothing like I have ever tried before. It was something in between ice cream and a milkshake, but with a slight chew to it. Along with its texture, Booza brought out tastes that your local ice cream parlor would never dare to try.

The ice cream even holds its shape upside down. (Photo by Jorene He)

The server gave me two scoops of salted Oreo and one Sichuan white chocolate. The chocolate of the Oreo was perfectly complemented by the salt.The Sichuan white chocolate was a true experimental flavor, bringing out a kick of spice following the cool and smooth flavor of white chocolate.

However, not all of the experimental flavors succeeded. The red miso flavor lacked any sweetness, and salt overpowered the dish. I couldn’t get over the idea of eating savory ice cream — it ended up tasting like cold miso soup.

Other than that, Booza exceeded all my expectations. I found myself craving it again as soon as I stepped out the door. Rather than mindlessly staring into the abyss that is the Instagram explore page, seeing Booza in person is a foodie experience definitely worth a double-tap.

 

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