Depending where you are from Tapioca can be something entirely different but in Brazil, it is common street food…like hot dogs are to Canada.
Tapioca can be a flat griddle-cake similar to a pancake or a crepe, white, chewy and without much flavor, which is rolled or folded and filled with any number of sweet or savory fillings, like crepes or wraps are. Some favorite fillings are grated coconut and grated cheese, carne (beef), banana and cheese, or even just plain butter.
Tapioca can also be a dessert. Tapioca on the bottom, fresh shredded coconut on top drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.
Tapioca is one of the end-products that are extracted from a tropical tuber found in Brazil, called manioc, cassava or yuca in English and many other things in other languages. Depending on what part of the manioc plant is used and how it is treated it can resemble a potato, a thick, floury paste, or a gritty yellow grain. Tapioca is just one more of the many shapes and forms of manioc. In Brazil the word tapioca is used to refer to the starchy flour itself and also to the crepes which are made from it and which are a popular snack and street food.
I have seen these varieties of tapiocas on the street and FINALLY had to give them a try!
My favorite type…the crepe.