National Tapioca Pudding Day
National Tapioca Pudding Day on July 15th encourages us to dig into this pudding dish enjoyed around the world!
Tapioca is a starch derived from the cassava root. While the root looks similar in shape and color to a sweet potato, in its natural form, cassava contains cyanide. However, grinding down the root produces a flour or powder used as a thickening agent. It may also be produced tapioca into pearls. Also known as manioc or yucca, growers cultivate cassava around the world. A part of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family, this woody shrub is native to South America but is also grown in Asia and Africa.
Once a staple in early American households, tapioca was dehydrated to survive long sea voyages without spoilage. In a dehydrated form, tapioca earns an extended shelf life. Cooks wanting to make homemade tapioca should plan ahead. Tapioca pearls must soak overnight before using them.