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Strange beads in boba drinks are the same pearls in tapioca pudding

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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 9:25 am

Dear Barbara: I think the new drinks called ‘boba’ are really good. They are a flavored drink similar to a smoothie, but they have tapioca in the bottom and you suck the tapioca and liquid through a straw. My question is, what exactly is tapioca, and what is it made of? — Jared from Lodi

Dear Jared: When I was growing up, tapioca pudding was like “mystery pudding.” What are those little bead things? Well, I had to do some research on that. I knew it was a starch and a thickener for pies, etc., but that was about the extent of it!

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