The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Tapioca.
The Facts: Tapioca comes from the root of the cassava, which is a general name for many species of the spurge family of plants. This is a tall slender plant, which has poinsettia- type leaves, cultivated in plantation-type settings. It can attain heights of ten to sixteen feet. The roots of these plants are similar to sweet potatoes and their starchy content makes them a staple food in some tropical areas.
- The name tapioca is derived from the word tipi’óka, the name for this starch in the Tupí language of South America.
- Tapioca is a staple food in some regions and is used worldwide as a thickening agent, mainly in foods. Tapioca is gluten-free, and almost completely protein-free.
- June 28th is National Tapioca Day.
- Tapioca is packaged as flakes or flour and also in the form of pellets.
- Tapioca is commonly used instead of wheat flour in South America, the West Indies and India.
- The most popular use of tapioca in the Western world is a milk-based dessert pudding with milk and sugar. In the tropics, it is also popular prepared as a pudding with fruit or fruit juice.