National Tapioca Day
Every June 28th is observed as National Tapioca Day—a holiday dedicated to a starch extracted from the storage roots of the cassava plant, a species native to the northern regions of Brazil. Although the cassava root originated in Brazil, it can now be found across all of South America.
Tapioca is a starch that contains no fat or cholesterol, is very low in sodium, and contains approximately 20 mg of calcium and about 1.5 mg of iron. It is an ingredient used in a variety of desserts and puddings, Bubble Tea, Brazilian Cheese Bread, and is often used as a thickener for sauces or a breading for fried foods.
Of course, there are other uses for this starch, but everyone can find those out for themselves as they celebrate this summer holiday.
The History of National Tapioca Day
The cassava plant was first cultivated by indigenous tribes over 7,000 years ago and served as an important food source for them. They were the ones who created a special method of processing this plant’s roots into a starchy substance for cooking.
This was important because the cassava plant’s roots can be poisonous if not processed correctly. That’s because they contain naturally occurring cyanide compounds that can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. The special process of soaking, grating, and cooking these roots removes the cyanide compounds, making them safe to eat.
National Tapioca Day was invented in the United States sometime during the turn of the 21st century, although we couldn’t pinpoint exactly when it was created. We also don’t know who invented this holiday or the intention behind it.
Was it created by someone who was a fan of tapioca, or was it created by a tapioca manufacturer to sell more of this product? We may never know, but we’ll keep trying to get to the bottom of this holiday, and if we do, then we’ll update this section with the new information.
Observing National Tapioca Day
We think that the challenge most people will have with observing this holiday is figuring out new ways to use tapioca. Most people are familiar with tapioca pudding or tapioca flour, but fewer people are familiar with other recipes that might use tapioca.
Some of the ways that tapioca can be used are in dishes such as Sticky Rice Balls with Coconut Milk, Coconut Tapioca Pearl Parfaits, and Sweet Potato Tapioca. We recommend that people look up these recipes and find out the ones they like the most.
We also encourage people to spread their favorite tapioca recipes around the world using the hashtag #NationalTapiocaDay on social media.