Thursday, March 10, 2016

Up side down tapioca

Manihot esculenta, with common names cassava (/kəˈsɑːvə/), Brazilian arrowroot, ... Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava ...

It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.[8]  wiki 

My father told me there is a folklore that it is very important to grow them the right way up, or the tapioca would be poisonous. It would be better not to eat them.
Tapioca is a dietary staple in Africa, Asia and South America, and you'll also find it in beverages and puddings in the United States. Although commercially packaged tapioca is generally safe, the plant can be highly toxic if not prepared properly.
Tapioca naturally produces cyanide, which is poisonous to humans; however, the cyanide may be removed during processing. By eating poorly prepared tapioca, you may risk cyanide poisoning according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms include headache and dizziness; in severe cases, you may experience convulsions or coma. It is suggested that if a person is allergic to latex, it is best not to eat tapioca.

I used this story in my World War II, about a family dying after eating the up side down tapioca.


  1. Reb Lee Yes, we call food poisoning in Malaysia, not in detail. Many times students in canteen ate the Tapioca kuih, all had vomiting . My ex helper from Philippines told me that she stopped taking Tapioca for 20 years as 1/2 of her Kampong folks died after eaten the Tapioca -- they eat that daily instead of rice for the poor families. A dietitian said in the newspaper that we have to soak the Tapioca after peeling it. thanks goodness that I thought it was like the potato or sweet potato would become brownish. So, no troubles for me at all. reb

  2. Rose Kalang FitzGerald Peel the skin... Make a slit & run your thumb down to remove the skin. Should be easy & leave you a very smooth white ubi kayu. Cut up, soak in water. Then boil until tender. There is a variety that is poisonous. Yes, a family made chips & their Dad experienced stomaches & tingling in the tongue & dizziness.
    Since you got it from the store, I think it is safe.