Tapioca is a staple food in many parts of Africa, and South America called mandioca and some part in Asia it became as well a stable during the second world war where its called Ubi.
The Cassava root is known by a distinctive name throughout South America and in Brasil: Which is where this particular recipe is from is called, Aipim in the Southeast, especially in Rio de Janeiro. Mandioca the North, Central-West and in São Paulo; tapioca or macaxeira in the Northeast; The fine-grained tapioca starch is called polvilho, and it is as either “sweet” or “sour”.
Tapioca flour, or manioc flour, is made from the cassava shrub, which has a woody root, knows as manioc, or yuca; Casava plant is a native shrub of South America. In Brazil, the commonly eaten roots are known as “mandioca”, while the starch is called “tapioca.”
The word tipi’oka is the name for the starch of the Mandioca root in the Tupi language that was spoken by the natives at that time before the arrival of Portuguese to Brasil. Thus the name tapioca is derived from tipi’oka, which refers to the process by which the starch is made edible.
Tapioca flour is unique and fun to make pancakes or crepes as is called. There are seemingly unlimited uses for mandioca root and they are very popular street food in Asia, Africa, South America and Brazil. They can make many a different variety of things with it, and best of all it’s gluten free! Cassava is the root and Mandioca are the Flour; Tapioca is the starch just so that we know the difference. In the streets, they are cooked to order. You can have it with a variety of savoury fillings (cheese, shredded beef, guava. Or sweetened typically with condensed. My Favourite is grated coconut and coconut milk, and even with melted chocolate sauce is fantastic.
To make these crepes, Typically tapioca flour which is called “povilho doce” sweet starch, is mixed very well with water and let it stand for six to eight hours. Best to do this at night and in the morning its ready to drain the water. Place a paper towel on the starch to absorb the rest of liquid on the surface; you have to do this several times to remove as much liquid as possible. Tapioca hardened starch that remains the base needed to be broken down then sifted through a fine sieve to produce a snow-like powder. Use a sieve with powder sift it over a hot nonstick skillet; it quickly melts together to form the crepe.
If you feel brave enough, try to toss one into the air with the skillet to flip easily. Give it a go and see it lands back on the skillet 🙂 Good luck!
Tapioca starch comes in two varieties – sour and sweet. Sour tapioca starch is slightly fermented before processing. Some recipes for tapioca crepes requires a sweet starch, and others need a sour flour. Some of us prefer the sweet (non-fermented) version, others sour, either one taste great.
pesto recipe: http://simplysentient.org/2017/04/05/basil-pesto-on-gallet/