is an essentially flavourless starchy ingredient used in cooking
, similar to sago
. Tapioca is produced from treated and dried cassava
) root. Tapioca takes the form either of fine dried flakes, or more commonly, small hard white spheres or 'pearls' that are soaked before use. These spheres are a common ingredient in Southeast Asian
desserts, in puddings such as tapioca pudding, and in drinks such as bubble tea
where they provide a chewy contrast to the sweetness of the drink. Cassava flour (tapioca flour) is commonly used as a food thickener, and is also used as a binder in tablets.