Tapioca pudding is a dessert made from the root of a plant similar to the sweet potato. Although this root can also be used in such things as tea (see Saint's Alp Teahouse--the tea is not from the root, but has tapioca beads in it.) most people are familiar with it only via the faintly sweet pudding which is white with creamy "pearls" in it. Many people find it similar in consistancy to rice pudding. It's not a highly sweet pudding like the chocolate or banana people think of, it's more substantial somehow.

This is the really REALLY oldfashioned way of fixing tapioca pudding. This recipe is from 1881, taken from The Household Cyclopedia of General Information. It can easly be adapted with, say, a stovetop ^_^ try the low gas setting instead of 'smothered in ashes'. Or there's the modern way, which is buy a box of jello brand tapioca pudding and follow the directions on the side.

Ten ounces of tapioca
1 quart of milk
6 ounces of sugar
6 yolks of eggs and 2 whipped whites
the grated rind of a lemon
2 ounces of butter
a little salt.

Put the tapioca, sugar, butter, salt, grated lemon, and the milk into a stewpan. Stir this over the fire until it boils; then cover the stewpan with its lid, and put it on a very slow stove-fire (partially smothered with ashes), to continue gently simmering for a a quarter of an hour.

The tapioca should then be withdrawn from the fire, and after the 6 yolks and the 2 whipped whites of eggs have been thoroughly incorporated in it, pour the preparation in to a mould or pudding-basin previously spread with butter.

steam the pudding for about an hour and a half; and when done dish it up with either a plain arrow-root or custard sauce over it.


I find tapioca pudding to be very tasty, now. It was definitely an acquired taste, however. I refused for years to eat it when i was very small. A friend had convinced me--and apparently believed herself--that it was TAPIOKRA pudding, and was made from the slime and seeds of boiled okra. After all it was the same consistancy and color as these two okra byproducts...