How Did I Find Out About Tapioca?
I must make a little confession. 7-8 years ago, I even didn’t know that tapioca existed. I probably heard about it for the first time when I was watching a film “New in Town” with Renee Zellweger. In that movie, her colleague was famous for her delicious tapioca pudding. Her recipe was an old family secret, and she didn’t want to share it with anybody. (In case you didn’t watch this film, at the end she received a lot of money for allowing a factory use her recipe).
But at that time tapioca wasn’t available in Poland. And even when I was abroad, I just didn’t remember to look for it and bring it home.
And then maybe 2-3 years ago there was suddenly a boom for tapioca. I had a feeling that it was everywhere: available in shops, served in restaurants as well as appearing in bubble teas and recipes on different blogs. So naturally, I had to try it as well!
Tapioca originally comes from Brazil, and it is extracted from cassava root. It is a starch and as such apart from carbohydrates contains hardly any other nutrients. Despite it, it is a staple food in tropical countries. In the Western world, people use it mainly as a thickening agent.
Mango Coconut Tapioca Pudding – a Great Way to Enjoy Gluten-free Dessert
Tapioca is available in a few different forms, but the most popular one is probably its pearl version. I tested both types: with the smaller and bigger pearls. Tastewise they are apparently the same, but I prefer the one with bigger pearls. In my opinion, they look much better although they are more difficult to prepare. They take much longer to cook, and you should stir them often to prevent from burning.
If you want to prepare a tapioca pudding, you usually cook the pearls in milk (normal or plant for vegan tapioca pudding). As mentioned earlier, the tapioca itself will not give you many nutrients. But it is gluten-free, so even people who avoid or can’t eat gluten can enjoy it.
I wanted to prepare a vegan tapioca pudding, so I cooked the pearls in coconut milk. To make it more nutritious, I added mango and passion fruit. That way I ended up with delicious Mango Coconut Tapioca Pudding.