Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tiny bubbles

June 28, 2008 - (Sung to the tune of tiny bubbles...) Tiny ballies... soaked in cream. Tiny ballies, dropped in tea. Yup, tapioca. It's hard to imagine how the tapioca pearl came to be. Let's take a fairly inedible plant (the bitter cassava), treat it and dry it to create little starchy, basically tasteless balls. The Taiwanese put them in an iced latte like beverage called bubble tea. The English and Scots put it in a custard and call it pudding.

To really appreciate tapioca, I think you need to either be descendants of the UK or of Asia. Honestly, who else would enjoy these chewy, tasteless almost clear balls but folks who will eat eyeballs and sheep stomachs? Today is our day, for it is National Tapioca Day. Bubble tea and pudding all around.

If tapioca is terrible in your books, it is also the Festival of Terrible Pottery Day. Found in cupboards, sideboards, tourist shops and flea markets everywhere, terrible pottery comes with an odd sense of attachment. That blue mug beside the coffee pot is not very round, the lip is not very even, and the handle is a little wonky. But it's like the mutt in the pound. The other mugs are much nicer to look at, and even to sip my coffee from, but I reach for that terrible piece of pottery first. My blue pottery mug is the weak one. It needs me. And I need it. And I'm only willing to admit that for today. Tomorrow I will deny deny deny.

I wonder how tapioca pudding would taste out of that mug?

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