It seems that many people (as I did) assume that they’re the same thing, but in fact they are two different products with somewhat different properties – even though they come from the same plant.They both look alike.
They’re both light, white flours that feel kind of squeaky between your fingers.
They both threaten to fly all over you and everything that surrounds you with the slightest breeze!
And they’re both made from the Cassava tuber (also known as Yucca).
But that’s where it ends.
Tapioca is the starch from the Cassava tuber, whereas Cassava flour is the whole tuber, dried and ground, which makes it a different flour with different properties.
And naturally, because it’s made from the whole tuber, Cassava flour also has more nutritional value.Cassava as a crop is a staple in many countries and is eaten by millions of people around the world. In fact over 228 millions tons of the stuff was grown in 2007.
Cassava flour is said to be quite a good replacement for wheat flour in some recipes but for many of us it can be a bit hard to come by. The confusion between tapioca and cassava when trying to buy it is common as the names seem to be used interchangeably.
Sadly it’s not yet well known in New Zealand where I live and it seems to be easier to buy in many other countries.
I did however find it for sale on Foodcompass here in NZ and I also came across it on Trademe which was handy as I now use it to make a grain free sourdough bread. Yum!
Cassava flour is a great gluten free flour for making many baked goods, and like everything, the more popular it is, the easier it will be to find. So give it a go!
Susie Wilson is a Mum, a writer, a health buff and a bit of a self confessed food-a-holic! Susie has a passion for learning about, creating and of course eating healthy foods. She enjoys sharing recipes, ideas and information about the foods she loves and the things she’s discovered about healthy eating and living. (Contact Author)