Tapioca and cassava are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different things. Cassava is a root vegetable that is native to South America and is also known as yuca or manioc. Tapioca, on the other hand, is a starch that is extracted from the cassava root. While cassava can be eaten whole or processed into a variety of products such as flour, chips, and bread, tapioca is primarily used as a thickening agent in food products.
The process of making tapioca involves extracting the starch from the cassava root and processing it into small, white, spherical pellets. These pellets are then used in a variety of food products, including puddings, desserts, and bubble tea. Cassava, on the other hand, can be used in a wider range of products, including snacks, chips, and even as a gluten-free flour substitute.
While tapioca and cassava are related, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Cassava is a versatile root vegetable that has been a staple food in many cultures for centuries, while tapioca is a refined starch that is primarily used as a thickening agent in food products. Understanding the difference between these two ingredients can help you choose the right one for your cooking and baking needs.