Where Does Tapioca Come From
The tapioca plant is a tropical shrub. It grows in the Amazon region and produces white, starchy roots that can reach up to 6 feet long. When the root is boiled and dried, it becomes an edible flour called tapioca starch. Tapioca flour is used to make pudding, dumplings and puddings—but it also has many other uses!
What is Tapioca?
Tapioca is a root of the cassava plant, which is native to South America. The cassava root has been used for its nutritious properties for centuries in various cultures.
Tapioca comes from the Cassava Plant
Tapioca is made from the root of a tropical plant called cassava (Manihot esculenta), which looks very much like a potato and grows best in warm, humid climates. The tapioca plant is perennial, meaning that it can be harvested year after year; however, new roots are generally planted each time you want to start over with a new crop. If grown correctly, this means that one cassava root can be used to make flour—or whatever other product you’re making out of it—for years!
Tapioca Flour, Pearl Tapioca and More
Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant. It can also be called tapioca starch and is sometimes referred to as cassava flour.
It’s gluten-free and has a very similar texture to cornstarch, which makes it a popular alternative for people with celiac disease. Tapioca flour is often used in baking, but you may recognize it from tapioca pudding or bubble tea!
Tapioca pearls are small balls of tapioca starch that expand when soaked in water or other liquids, like milk or tea. They’re used in traditional Chinese cuisine—especially during spring festival celebrations—and are also commonly found in desserts at American restaurants serving Asian food and Japanese dim sum parlors (dumpling houses).
Tapioca comes from a root that can be found growing underground.
Tapioca is a starch that comes from a root that’s commonly used to make tapioca pudding and other foods. When it’s combined with water, it can create a gelatinous texture which is often used in desserts like tapioca pudding or as an ingredient in breads and pastries.
Tapioca is also sometimes referred to as cassava or yuca (not to be confused with yucca). It can be found growing underground, but the part we use in cooking has been removed from its roots and dried out before being packaged for sale at grocery stores.
In this article, we’ve learned about the history behind tapioca, how it is made and where it comes from. We hope you now feel more confident in identifying this ingredient at your local grocery store or farmer’s market!