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What Is This Bouja They Speak Of

Cindy Wear

I get funny looks when I tell people I’ve never heard of bouja. Apparently, as a Minnesota girl, I should know what it is. I do now.

The smell wafted through the radio station this morning as co-workers lined up to warm up a bowl of bouja in the microwave. It did smell good. But without knowing what it was, I wasn’t taking anyone’s word for it. So I looked it up.

Booyah (also spelled booya, bouja, boulyaw, or bouyou) is a thick soup of unknown origin made throughout the Upper Midwestern United States.[1] Booyah often requires up to two days and multiple cooks to prepare; it is cooked in specially designed “booyah kettles” and usually meant to serve hundreds or even thousands of people. The name also refers to the event surrounding the meal.”

So there you have it. Now I know. I hope nobody brings in lutefisk tomorrow.

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