If you’ve ever had bubble tea, you probably think of tapioca as those delicious, chewy balls found in your glass. No? Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the small pearls in tapioca pudding. Regardless, you may still be left wondering, what exactly is tapioca?
Cassava Root (Yuca)
Tapioca is actually a starch that is extracted from the cassava root, known in some parts of the world as yuca. The root is mainly grown in tropical and subtropical areas throughout Asia, South America and Africa. Originally produced in Northern brazil, most tapioca production now comes from Brazil, Thailand and Nigeria. In many parts of the world, yuca is a staple food source.
From Root to Tapioca
After being harvested, toxins are removed from the cassava root before the starch is processed. The starch is what we’re interested in because it is formed into the ball-shaped pearls we put in bubble tea! Pearls, however, are only one form that tapioca comes in. It can also be formed into powder, sticks or flakes.
We’ve already discussed two uses for tapioca, tapioca pudding and bubble tea. Tapioca is also known to be a very effective thickening and can be used to thicken soups. This should come as no surprise but our favorite use for tapioca is using pearls in our bubble tea, of course! Here at Fruitealicious, we believe that fresh ingredients are key to creating a tea that is both refreshing and delicious. You’ll find that we cook our tapioca in small batches throughout the day to ensure that they are fresh for our customers at all times.
What do tapioca balls taste like? In our opinion, they taste like caramel! That flavor has a lot to do with them being infused with brown sugar. Whether you have yet to try tapioca or you’re a tapioca connoisseur, we look forward to treating you to some of our bubble tea. Find us at any one of our five locations and look for our sixth location coming soon to Austin!