Tapioca is made from cassava root, fleshy, starchy tubers with tough brown skin and crisp white flesh, originally from Brazil but now widely cultivated, The flour is then treated in such a way that it forms flakes, seeds or pearls of tapioca. There are two types, sweet and bitter. Avoid the bitter one. Throughout the Amazon basin there are 26 varieties, each thriving under different conditions. The process of making it into flour or tapioca removes the toxins. This, decently cooked in flavoured milk, is a far cry from the disgusting slop served in many schools in the good old days when "decent" meals were provided. Embarrassing that this much loathed dessert is a staple food for so many people.