Tapioca

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Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of the plant species Manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, most of the West Indies and Venezuela is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, bitter-cassava, manioc, "mandioca", "aipim", "macaxeira", "manioca", "boba", "yuca" (not to be confused with yucca). In India it has different names in different regions such as, "Sagudana" (literally, Sagu drops), "Sabudana"(literally, drops of soap) and "Kappa". In Vietnam, it is called bột năng. In Indonesia, it is called ubi kayu or singkong.

The name tapioca is derived from the word tipi'óka, the name for this starch in Tupi.[1] This Tupi word refers to the process by which the starch is made edible. However, as the word moved out of Brazil it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents.[citation needed]

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. 'Tapioca' in Britain often refers to a milk pudding thickened with arrowroot,[citation needed] while in Asia the sap of the Sago palm is often part of its preparation.[citation needed]

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