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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Off the Shelf
Tapioca pearls used in desserts

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

Tapioca comes from the tuber of the casava plant, native to the Americas but grown through much of tropical Asia. The starch is used as a thickener, like cornstarch, but the pearls are used in desserts and confections.

To cook the tapioca pearls, place in a saucepan — a half cup of tapioca pearls to 2 1/2 cups liquid — and cook until pearls are translucent and mixture is thick.

The liquid can be water, milk or coconut milk. Sugar and other flavorings can be added.