Tapioca is a starch extracted from the storage roots of the cassava plant. This species is native to the north region and central-west
region of Brazil, but its use spread throughout South America. The plant was carried by Portuguese and Spanish colonisers to most of the
West Indies and Africa and Asia.
It is used as a thickening agent in various manufactured foods.
Tapioca pearls are generally opaque when raw, but become translucent when cooked in boiling water.
Because of its nature as nearly pure starch, and being devoid of substantial amounts of proteins, lipids, minerals and vitamins, tapioca's nutritional value is limited to its energetic value.
Tapioca can be made into a variety of delicious desserts.