Tapioca, “Soothing Pudding of Yesterday”
Marty Martindale

No. Kozy Shack didn’t invent delicious tapioca pudding. The Shack’s founder did highly appreciate tapiocathe pudding, purchased a popular deli’s recipe and did an excellent job of marketing the tiny little pearls about the time we first learned about Japan’s curious bubble tea.

Creamy and pleasantly crowded with smooth, soft pearls, this substance serves as delicious pudding, it’s gluten-free, thickens sauces and can be made into a flour. Enjoy a look at this vintage tapioca cookbook.

“Minute Tapioca” was introduced in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Before this, the tapioca pearls required long, overnight soaking. “Minute Tapioca,” now made by Kraft, was ready in 15 minutes and quite welcome. For convenience sake, we will be referring to Minute Tapioca. It can be poisonous if incorrectly-processed, therefore it is important to trust its processor.

Many names exist for tapioca. Another English word is cassava, while South Americans refer to it as madioca, in Africa, it’s called manioc and the Spaniards call it yuca (not yucca). Asians refer to it as tapioca. Large tapioca pearls are called boba by Asians, and they enjoy it most in a drink they call boba/pearl milk tea.

Tapioca appeared in South and Central America before the 15th century when traders introduced it to Africa. From there, it reached Asia in the 17th century, with traders introducing it to the Mexicans who shared it with the Philippines, and the Dutch introduced it to the Indonesians. Today Thailand, Brazil and Nigeria are the principal producers of tapioca.

Low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt, tapioca is also rich in B-complex vitamins, iron, copper and selenium.


  • Any fruit juice
  • Chocolate
  • Egg Nog
  • Maple Walnut
  • Mocha
  • Peanut Butter
  • Rocky-Road
  • Stir fry
  • Substitute for rice
  • Thickener for fruit pies, sauces and soups
  • Vanilla

Below are foodsites with tapioca recipes.





Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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