Where does tapioca come from?

Tapioca is a food starch that comes from the roots of the manioc, or cassava, shrub which grows in the warm lands of the world.

Tapioca pudding is a desert that many people like.  Tapioca is made from the thick, starchy roots of a large shrubby plant which grows in Brazil and other warm countries.

Food Starch

The plant is called “manioc” or “cassava.”  The big roots of the plant, which are shaped much like sweet potatoes, may be 3 feet long and 8 inches thick.  The roots of a single plant may yield about 10 pounds of tapioca starch.

To make tapioca the roots are dug up, peeled and ground into pulp.  The mass of pulp is mixed with water and strained until all the starch particles are separated from the root fiber.

The wet, starchy mass is then dried in hot iron pans.  During the drying, the pure starch grains stick together to form small, milky white balls known as pearl tapioca.

When tapioca is cooked, it swells and thickens the liquid in which it is cooked.  The roots themselves are cooked and eaten by many of the people in the lands where manioc grows. – Dick Rogers




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