what is tapioca?

“Can you eat this?” is something I hear so often from my concerned friends (thank you guys by the way). Recently, my friend Shannon and I were talking about tapioca pudding and how I can eat it thanks to the folks at Kozy Shack. And then she asked a really good question, “What is tapioca?”

My answer: “I don’t know but whatever it is I’m not allergic to it.”


So I decided to look it up because we were convinced that the perfectly small, round, pearls were too perfect to be naturally formed that way (i.e. man had to step in somewhere).

According to Wikipedia:

“Tapioca is a flavorless, colorless, odorless starch extracted from the root of the plant species Manihot esculenta. Tapioca is gluten free, and nearly protein free. The commercial form of tapioca most familiar to many people is pearl tapioca. Commercially, the starch is processed into several forms: powder, fine or coarse flakes or meal (‘flour’), sticks, and ‘pearls’. In all its forms tapioca starch is opaque before cooking; after cooking it becomes translucent.”

According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

“In processing, heat ruptures the starch grains, converting them to small, irregular masses that are further baked into flake tapioca. A pellet form, known as pearl tapioca, is made by forcing the moist starch through sieves.”

And then I couldn’t read past that because I’m not a member of their website and couldn’t gain access without a credit card number.

Interesting. And yummy. Thanks for not using corn syrup, Kozy Shack!


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