Tapioca
Overview
 
Tapioca is a starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 extracted Manihot esculenta
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

. This species, native to the Amazon
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, manioc, aipim, bitter-cassava, boba, mandioca, macaxeira, manioca, tapioca plant, yuca ˈjuːka) (not to be confused with yucca
Yucca
Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40-50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry parts of North...

).
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Tapioca is a starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 extracted Manihot esculenta
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

. This species, native to the Amazon
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, manioc, aipim, bitter-cassava, boba, mandioca, macaxeira, manioca, tapioca plant, yuca ˈjuːka) (not to be confused with yucca
Yucca
Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40-50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry parts of North...

). In India, the term 'Tapioca' is used to represent the root of the plant (Cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

), rather than the starch. In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, it is called bột năng. In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, it is called singkong. In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, it is called sago.

The name tapioca is derived from the word tipi'óka, the name for this starch in Tupí. This Tupí word refers to the process by which the starch is made edible. However, as the word moved out of Brazil it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents.

Tapioca is a staple food in some regions and is used worldwide as a thickening agent
Thickening agent
Thickening agents, or thickeners, is the term applied to substances which increase the viscosity of a solution or liquid/solid mixture without substantially modifying its other properties; although most frequently applied to foods where the target property is taste, the term also is applicable to...

, mainly in foods. Tapioca is gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

-free, and almost completely protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

-free. In Britain, the word tapioca often refers to a milk pudding thickened with arrowroot
Arrowroot
Arrowroot, or obedience plant , Bermuda arrowroot, araru, ararao, is a large perennial herb found in rainforest habitats...

, while in Asia the sap of the sago palm is often part of its preparation.

Production

The cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

 plant has either red or green branches with blue spindles on them. The root of the green-branched variant requires treatment to remove a toxin found in the plant. Konzo
Konzo
Konzo is an epidemic paralytic disease first described by G. Trolli in 1938, who discovered it amongst the Kwango of the Belgian Congo . The outbreaks are associated with several weeks of almost exclusive consumption of insufficiently processed "bitter" cassava as a famine food...

 (also called mantakassa) is a paralytic disease associated with several weeks of almost exclusive consumption of insufficiently processed bitter cassava. The toxin found in the root of the red-branched variant is less harmful to humans than the green-branched variety. Therefore, the root of the red/purple-branched variant can be consumed directly.

Commercially, the starch is processed into several forms: powder, fine or coarse flakes or meal, rectangular sticks, and spherical "pearls". Pearls are the most widely available shape; sizes range from about 1 mm to 8 mm in diameter, with 2–3 mm being the most common.

Flakes, sticks, and pearls must be soaked well before cooking, to rehydrate them; they will easily absorb water equal to twice their volume, becoming leathery and swollen. All these products traditionally are white, but sticks and pearls may be colored. The oldest and most common color is brown, but pastel colors are now available. In all its forms, tapioca starch is opaque before cooking and becomes translucent when cooked.

Nigeria, Brazil, and Thailand are the world's largest producers of cassava. Thailand accounts for 60% of worldwide exports.

West Indies

Tapioca was used by the first inhabitants of the West Indies as a staple food from which they made main dishes such as pepper pot and also used it to make alcohol. It was also used to clean their teeth and to this day is used as a base in toothpaste. Currently it is still a very popular food in the islands, used as a provision cooked with meats or fish and in desserts such as cassava pone.

Asia

In various Asian countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan, tapioca pearls are used and can be mistaken for sago
Sago
Sago is a starch extracted in the spongy center or pith, of various tropical palm stems, Metroxylon sagu. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas, where it is called saksak and sagu. A type of flour, called sago flour, is made from sago. The largest supply...

 pearls, also known as sagudana or sabudana
Sago
Sago is a starch extracted in the spongy center or pith, of various tropical palm stems, Metroxylon sagu. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas, where it is called saksak and sagu. A type of flour, called sago flour, is made from sago. The largest supply...

 (Pearl Sago) also called 'Sabba Akki' (ಕನ್ನಡ: ಸಬ್ಬಕ್ಕಿ) in Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

. The pearls (sagudana or sabudana) are also used to make snacks.

India

Local words in India include - Hindi sāgūdānā (literally, 'grains of sago
Sago
Sago is a starch extracted in the spongy center or pith, of various tropical palm stems, Metroxylon sagu. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas, where it is called saksak and sagu. A type of flour, called sago flour, is made from sago. The largest supply...

'), Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 sābūdānā (a variant of the preceding word), Malayalam
Malayalam language
Malayalam , is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It is spoken by 35.9 million people...

 kappa or maraccīni, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 maravaḷḷikkilanku, and Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

 sabakki(ಸಾಬಕ್ಕಿ).
In Indian cuisine, the granular preparation of cassava starch, is known as sāgūdānā'. It can also be used to thicken puddings.
Kerala

Tapioca is widely consumed in the state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. It is either boiled or cooked with spices. Tapioca with fish curry (especially Sardine) is a delicacy in Kerala. Thinly sliced tapioca wafers, similar to potato chips, are popular too. Cassava, often referred to as tapioca in English, is called Kappa (കപ്പ) Kizhangu or Poola (in northern Kerala) or Maracheeni or Cheeni or Kolli in Malayalam. Tapioca is regarded as a staple food of the common man in Kerala.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra

Tapioca is also available in ఆంథ్రప్రదేశ్ and coastal regions and is called "Karrapendalam" "కర్రపెండలము" in Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

. Cassava is called "కంద" or "పెండలము" in Telugu. In Kannada, the actual cassava is called kolli or mara genasu . In Telugu, in other regions of Andhra its by product is also known as "సగ్గు బియ్యము". The tapioca pearls are known as "Sabu dana" in Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

. It is commonly used as a Khichdi
Khichdi
Khichṛī , alternate spellings khichdi, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, "kitcheree", "kitchree", and many other variants, is a South Asian preparation made from rice and lentils...

 preparation during fasting, popularly called Sabudana Khichadi
Sabudana Khichadi
Sabudana khichadi is an Indian dish made from soaked Sabudana . It is usually prepared in western parts of India especially in Gujarat & Maharashtra. In the majour towns of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, it is available as street food and is widely enjoyed by everyone throughout the...

, among Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s in Western and central part of India (Gujarat and Maharashtra region). Sabudana vada
Sabudana vada
Sabudana vada also called 'sago vada', is a traditional deep fried snack from Maharashtra, India. It is often served with spicy green chutney and along with Hot chai and is best eaten fresh.. In other parts of country, Sabudana vada are the best option to have when fasting...

 is common in Maharashtrian cuisine
Maharashtrian cuisine
Maharashtrian cuisine is cuisine of the Marathi people, those from the state of Maharashtra in India. Maharashtrian cuisine covers a range from being mild to very spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit form important components of Maharashtrian diet...

 as well.
Tamil Nadu

In Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, the roots of tapioca are called kuchikezhangu or kappakezhangu, and are used to prepare chips. Tapioca chips are also prepared in parts of South India.

In Tamil Nadu, tapioca is cultivated more in the districts of Erode, Namakkal and Salem. In Tamil Nadu, there are many tapioca processing units called "sago factories". A large number of tapioca industries are found in Attur Taluk, Salem District. Salem City has a marketing center for the sago
Sago
Sago is a starch extracted in the spongy center or pith, of various tropical palm stems, Metroxylon sagu. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas, where it is called saksak and sagu. A type of flour, called sago flour, is made from sago. The largest supply...

 (known as javvarisi).

In these factories, the Sabudana (Hindi) / Javvarisi (Tamil) is produced and distributed throughout India and exported to different countries.

The cultivation of tapioca is manpower intensive only at the time of plantation and harvest. It provides a steady income to the farmers. Tapioca called maravallikilangu can be consumed raw (after removing the skins/outer cover). It can also be boiled and different dishes like Uppuma (Tamil) can be made. It can also be made into chips to use as snacks during tea time.
Northern India

During the festival season in Northern India, Sabudana is usually consumed during Fasts (Vrat in Hindi), either prepared as a "Khichdi
Khichdi
Khichṛī , alternate spellings khichdi, khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari, "kitcheree", "kitchree", and many other variants, is a South Asian preparation made from rice and lentils...

" (savory) Sabudana Khichadi
Sabudana Khichadi
Sabudana khichadi is an Indian dish made from soaked Sabudana . It is usually prepared in western parts of India especially in Gujarat & Maharashtra. In the majour towns of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, it is available as street food and is widely enjoyed by everyone throughout the...

 or Kheer (sweet). In the Holi (festival), the most popular is Sabudana papad (fried in Desi ghee).

Tapioca is also referred to as "Poor Man's Food".
North-eastern India

In Nagaland
Nagaland
Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur...

 in North-eastern India, tapioca is eaten as a snack. It is usually boiled with a bit of salt in water after skinning it or snacks are made out of it by drying the tapioca after cutting it. It is then powdered into flour and turned into dough to either make a fired or baked biscuit. In their local dialect they call it kuri aloo, meaning "wood potato". They are eaten by all groups of society as a delicacy. The skin of the tapioca, which is not edible for humans, is kept aside to prepare a food for domesticated pigs.

Sri Lanka

It is known as "Mangnokka" in Sri Lanka and Mauritius also by its Sinhalese and Tamil names, generally eaten boiled with a chili onion mixture called "Lunu Miris Sambol" (type of a salsa) or coconut sambol. At the same time, it is very popular to have tapioca pearls, prepared as a delicacy. In early days, tapioca pearls were used to starch clothes by boiling tapioca pearls with the clothes.

Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, the cassava root is commonly cut into slices, wedges or strips, fried, and served as a snack, similar to potato chips, wedges
Potato wedges
Potato wedges, also called jojos in some parts of the United States, are a variation of french fries. As its name suggests, they are large, often unpeeled wedges of potatoes that are either baked or fried....

 or french fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

. Another method is to boil large blocks until soft, and serve them with grated coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 as a dessert, either slightly salted or sweetened, usually with palm sugar
Palm sugar
Palm sugar was originally made from the sugary sap of the Palmyra palm, the date palm or sugar date palm . Now it is also made from the sap of the sago, arenga pinnata and coconut palms, and may be sold as "arenga sugar" or "coconut sugar".-Description:It is quickly gaining popularity in the...

 syrup.

Tapai
Tapai
Tapai or tape , sometimes referred to as peuyeum , is a traditional fermented food found throughout much of East- and Southeast Asia. It is a sweet or sour alcoholic paste...

 is made by fermenting large blocks with a yeast-like bacteria culture to produce a sweet and slightly alcoholic dessert. A variation of the chips popular amongst the Malays is kerepek pedas, where the crisps are coated with a hot, sweet and tangy chili
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

 and onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

 paste, or sambal
Sambal
Sambal is a chili based sauce which is normally used as a condiment. Sambals are popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as in the Netherlands and in Suriname through Javanese influence. It is typically made from a variety of chili peppers and is...

, usually with fried anchovies
Anchovy
Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are 144 species in 17 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.-Description:...

 and peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s added.

Krupuk, or crackers, is a major use of tapioka scratch in Indonesia.

Commercially prepared tapioca has many uses. Tapioca powder is commonly used as a thickener for soups and other liquid foods, and is also used as a binder in pharmaceutical tablets
Tablet
A tablet is a pharmaceutical dosage form. It comprises a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form, pressed or compacted from a powder into a solid dose...

 and natural paints. The flour is used to make tender breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies, and other delicacies (see also Maida flour
Maida flour
Maida is a finely milled and refined flour of wheat, closely resembling cake flour, and used extensively in making Indian fast food and Indian bakery products such as pastries and breadand sometimes in making traditional Indian breads such as paratha and naan. It is made from the endosperm of the...

). Tapioca flakes are used to thicken the filling of pie
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

s made with fruits having a high water content.

A typical recipe for tapioca jelly can be made by washing 2 tablespoonfuls of tapioca, pouring a pint of water over it, and soaking for three hours. It is then placed over low heat and simmered until quite clear. If too thick, a little boiling water can be added. It can be sweetened with white sugar, flavored with coconut milk or a little wine, and eaten alone or with cream.

United Kingdom

The popular savory snack Skips
Skips (Snack)
Skips are a tapioca snack from the United Kingdom; which were first launched in 1974 as prawn cocktail. The snacks are made by United Biscuits and sold under the KP brand made under license from Meiji Seika Japan. Today they are available with bacon and cheese flavours in addition to the...

 is made of tapioca and flavored like prawn cocktail
Prawn cocktail
Prawn cocktail is a seafood dish consisting of "shelled prawns in mayonnaise and tomato dressing, served in a glass". It was the most popular hors d'œuvre in Great Britain in the 1970s.-External links:*...

 as well as other flavors.

Tapioca is also widely available in its dried forms and is used to make tapioca pudding
Tapioca pudding
Tapioca pudding is a sweet pudding made with tapioca and either milk, or for lactose intolerant individuals, coconut milk. Coconut milk is also used in cases in which the flavor is preferred or in areas in which it is a commonplace ingredient for cooking...

.

Brazil and South America

In Brazilian cuisine
Cuisine of Brazil
Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region. The natural crops available in each region add to their singularity.Brazilian cooking, while it has many similarities with that of its South American neighbors, is distinct...

, tapioca is used for different types of meals. In biju (or beiju), the tapioca is moistened, strained through a sieve to become a coarse flour, then sprinkled onto a hot griddle or pan, where the heat makes the starchy grains fuse into a tortilla
Tortilla
In Mexico and Central America, a tortilla is a type of thin, unleavened flat bread, made from finely ground maize...

, which is often sprinkled with coconut. Then it may be buttered and eaten as a toast (its most common use as a breakfast dish), or it may be filled or topped with either doces (sweet) or salgados (savory) ingredients, which define the kind of meal the tapioca is used for: breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. Choices range from butter, cheese, chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

, banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s with condensed milk
Condensed milk
Condensed milk, also known as sweetened condensed milk, is cow's milk from which water has been removed and to which sugar has been added, yielding a very thick, sweet product which when canned can last for years without refrigeration if unopened. The two terms, condensed milk and sweetened...

, chocolate with bananas, to various forms of meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

s and served warm. A traditional dessert called sagu is also made from pearl tapioca cooked with cinnamon and cloves in red wine. A restaurant which specializes in tapioca-based dishes (mostly fillings) is called in Brazil a tapiocaria. In Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, arepa
Arepa
An arepa is a dish made of ground corn dough or cooked flour, popular in Colombia, Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking countries. It is similar in shape to the Salvadoran pupusa...

s may be made with tapioca flour rather than cornmeal. Tapioca arepas probably predate cornmeal arepas; among traditional cultures of the Caribbean the name for them is casabe. In Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, tapioca is known as yuca and is eaten mostly boiled as a side dish in the Amazon and fried with Papa a la Huancaina
Papa a la Huancaina
Papa a la Huancaína is a Peruvian salad of boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, creamy sauce called Huancaína sauce...

 sauce as a snack when drinking alcohol.

United States

While frequently associated with dessert in the United States, tapioca is now being used by some cooks in other courses as well. Bubble tea
Bubble tea
Bubble tea is the name for pearl milk tea and other similar tea and juice beverages that originated in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan during the 1980s. Drink recipes may vary, but most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit and/or milk...

 is gaining popularity in cities with large Asian populations. People on gluten-free diet
Gluten-free diet
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat , barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin"...

s enjoy bread made with tapioca flour included, or as the main ingredient such as in the cheese bun
Cheese bun
Cheese buns, or cheese breads are a variety of small, baked, cheese-flavored rolls, a popular typical snack and breakfast food in Brazil, and also in nearby regions of Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina...

 known in Brazil as pão de queijo.

During World War II

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

's Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese occupation of Southeast Asia, many refugees survived on tapioca, as the plant is easily propagated by stem-cutting, grows well in low-nutrient soils, and can be harvested every two months. (However, to grow to full maturity, it takes 10 months). The plant thus provided much needed carbohydrate and protein.

Flatbreads/casabe/cassava bread

A casabe is a thin flatbread
Flatbread
A flatbread is a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened: made without yeast or sourdough culture: although some flatbread is made with yeast, such as pita bread....

 made from bitter cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

 root without leavening. It was originally produced by the Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 Arawak and Carib nations because these roots were a very common plant of the rain forests where they lived. In eastern Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 many Native American ethnic groups still make casabe and it remains their main bread-like food. Native American communities including the Ye-Kuana, Kari-Ña, Yanomami, Guarao or Warao are from either the Caribe or Arawac Nations and still make casabe.

To make casabe, the starchy root of bitter cassava is ground to a pulp, then squeezed to expel a milky, bitter liquid called yare which carries the poisonous substances with it out of the pulp. Traditionally, this squeezing is done in a sebucan, an 8- to 12 feet (3.7 m) long tube-shaped pressure strainer woven in a characteristic helical pattern from palm
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

 leaves
Leaves
-History:Vocalist Arnar Gudjonsson was formerly the guitarist with Mower, and he was joined by Hallur Hallsson , Arnar Ólafsson , Bjarni Grímsson , and Andri Ásgrímsson . Late in 2001 they played with Emiliana Torrini and drew early praise from the New York Times...

. The sebucan usually is hung from a tree branch or ceiling pole, and it has a closed bottom with a loop that is attached to a fixed stick or lever, which is used to stretch the sebucan. When the lever is pushed down, stretching the sebucan, the helical weaving pattern causes the strainer to squeeze the pulp inside. This is similar to the action of a Chinese finger trap
Chinese finger trap
A Chinese finger trap is a gag toy used to play a practical joke on children and unsuspecting adults...

. The pulp is then spread in thin, round cakes about 2 foot (0.6096 m) in diameter on a budare' to roast or toast.

Thin and crisp cakes of casabe are often broken apart and eaten like crackers. Like bread, casabe can be eaten alone or with other dishes. Thicker casabe usually are eaten slightly moistened. Just a subtle sprinkle of a few drops of liquid
Liquid
Liquid is one of the three classical states of matter . Like a gas, a liquid is able to flow and take the shape of a container. Some liquids resist compression, while others can be compressed. Unlike a gas, a liquid does not disperse to fill every space of a container, and maintains a fairly...

 is enough to transform a very dry casabe into a very soft and smooth bread very similar to the softest slice of a wheat bread loaf
Loaf
A loaf is a shape, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food. It may refer to a bread, or meatloaf.The term "loaf" sometimes refers to "head" from the rhyming slang "loaf of bread" ....

, an incredible change in texture. Because of its capacity to absorb liquid immediately, casabe may cause someone to choke, but goes down quickly with a sip of liquid.

In Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, the casabe is simply called cassava bread. It is prepared with an instrument called a matape by the natives of the Rupununi
Rupununi
Rupununi is a river and region in southern Guyana, South America, originating in the Kanuku Mountains. The Rupununi River runs from near the Brazilian border into the Essequibo River. The river during the flood season actually shares a watershed with the Amazon...

 Savanah and other areas of the country that have a high concentration of Amerinidians. In Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, it is called bammy. In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, it is called beiju or tapioca.

Pearl tapioca

Pearl tapioca is also known as boba to some cultures. It is produced by passing the moist starch through a sieve under pressure. Pearl tapioca is a common ingredient in Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n dessert
Dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...

s such as kolak
Kolak
Kolak or Kolek is an Indonesian dessert made with palm sugar and coconut milk, with pandanus leaf for flavour. In some versions, mung beans are also used, and cooked till soft. Banana may be added to this base, the dish then being known as kolek pisang...

, in tapioca pudding
Tapioca pudding
Tapioca pudding is a sweet pudding made with tapioca and either milk, or for lactose intolerant individuals, coconut milk. Coconut milk is also used in cases in which the flavor is preferred or in areas in which it is a commonplace ingredient for cooking...

, and in sweet drinks such as bubble tea
Bubble tea
Bubble tea is the name for pearl milk tea and other similar tea and juice beverages that originated in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan during the 1980s. Drink recipes may vary, but most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit and/or milk...

, fruit slush and taho
Taho
Tahô is a Philippine snack food made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal , and pearl sago . This staple comfort food is a signature sweet and can be found all over the country...

, where they provide a chewy contrast to the sweetness and texture of the drink. Small pearls are preferred for use in puddings; large pearls are preferred for use in drinks. These large pearls most often are brown, not white (and traditionally are used in black
Black tea
Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties.All four varieties are made from leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the...

 or green
Green tea
Green tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. It has recently become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally...

 tea drinks), but are available in a wide variety of pastel colors. Not only are they used in the aforementioned drinks, they are also available as an option in shaved ice and hot drinks.

Biodegradable bags

Tapioca root can also be used to manufacture biodegradable plastic bags. A polymer resin produced from the plant is a viable plastic substitute that is not only biodegradable, but can be composted, is renewable, and is recyclable. The product reverts in less than one year, versus thousands of years for traditional plastics.

Nutritional value

Tapioca is predominantly carbohydrate, with each cup containing 135 grams for a total of 544 calories, low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Vitamin B9, folate is present in the amount of 6.1 mcg, along with iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

2.4 mg and calcium 30.4 mg. One cup of tapioca also includes 1.5 mg of omega-3 acids, 3 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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