When Teca Thompson and Fatima Falangola explain tapioca to first-time customers at their food truck, Brazilianuts, they use the term “Brazailian taco” to convey its shape, texture and purpose. In Brazil, though, the snack requires no explanation, since the indigenous root is widely known.
Also called cassava or manioc, yuca can be boiled, baked, steamed, fried, grilled or stewed. It can also be turned into flour: Thompson and Falangola make yuca flour by rehydrating its starch. But if you’d prefer to skip that step, Brazilian Market (225 Red Bank Rd J, Goose Creek) sells several different brands in 500-gram packs for $4-$6. Alternatively, tapioca flour can be ordered online via ustapiocas.com.
Thompson and Falangola warn against purchasing “tapioca flour” or “cassava flour” from Whole Foods Market or Harris Teeter, since those flours are designed for baking. They won’t work in this recipe, the first in our new food feature "Kitchen cabinet," which will showcase global recipes from a group of local cooks.