Tapioca

I like tapioca, but rarely get to eat it. Tapioca’s another one of those “love it or hate it” foods. It tastes custardy, but looks like caviar and has a slightly squishy, slightly gummy, very round texture. Not for everyone. We had a bag in the pantry of the regular pearls for quite a while, so I finally made it. We’ll just chalk it up as a good learning experience.

The bag contained about a half pound of regular (not quick) tapioca, so maybe two or three cups. It looked small, so I just threw the whole bag in a bowl of water to soak overnight. And ended up with a lot more than I thought. After soaking, I had to cook it. I’m not even going to attempt a recipe, because I started out following something, but ended up totally winging it.

The soaked pearls probably totaled about 8 cups. I added that to a saucepan, then added a couple of eggs, a little sugar, some vanilla, and a couple cups of milk. At this point, I was still loosely following a recipe. That thickened up until I couldn’t stir anymore, but the pearls were still not fully cooked through (they’ll be translucent when they’re done; no white in the center). So I added some more milk and stirred. Then some more milk. A little water. Little more vanilla. Then more milk. I have no idea how much liquid eventually went in, but it was a lot before it was cooked and not a solid mass (you’re definitely looking for a pudding consistency).

It actually tasted pretty good, which is all that I care about. But I ended up with several quarts of tapioca, and since I’m the only one that eats it in the house, that’s a lot for one person to take care of. I had it with lunch and dinner daily and still made only the slightest of dents for weeks. Eventually, it got to the point that the pearls were basically starting to fall apart, so take the afore-mentioned description and add grainy to the texture. Even I could only take so much. I won’t even humor you with a picture.

It was good while it lasted, but eventually went to the birds. Literally. So next time, we’ll not make an entire bag, no matter how innocent it may look.

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