Tapioca is a starch obtained from the roots of the cassava plant, also called yucca or manioc. The long cylindrical roots range from about 2 to 8 inches in diameter, and 18 to 48 inches in length. They grow in clusters weighing from 5 to 30 pounds and have a tough brown skin, which when peeled, reveals a crisp white flesh. The roots are dried and then baked or boiled before being grounded into flour. Tapioca flour is clean white in colour, with a bland flavour.
- Tapioca flour (starch) is used as a thickening agent, much like corn starch.
- Tapioca starch is a popular choice for soups, fruit fillings, glazes, custards and sauces, especially if they are to be frozen.
- For frozen sauces, use 2 teaspoon of tapioca flour to replace 1 tablespoon of wheat flour. Tapioca starch can be safely used by people on low-sodium or gluten-free diets.
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Product should be stored in a dry, cool place at a temperature below 20°C. Optimum shelf life is 1 year.