I did it! I made bubble tea. I've been fascinated with it since hearing about it. And today I found the black tapioca pearls at the area world market.
Note--the pearls were not easy to find. The market is huge and I had to thoroughly investigate many aisles before finding anything that resembled tapioca. To make things more difficult, the writing on the package was not in English. It looked Japanese, definitely Asian. But fortunately for me, the tag on the shelf said tapioca. And the picture on the package looked like black pearl tapioca. But...it could as well have been black beans . The tapioca itself, as I could see it uncooked through the packaging, was brown.
When I first began cooking it I had my doubts that it would turn out. It was small and brown with only a little black on one side and no way could I envision it swelling into those lustrous pearls I'd see on the Web. But...it did!! And I had the key ingredient for bubble tea.
I steeped the pearls in lemon and sugar for about half an hour and then placed them in the bottom of a clear glass. I used the traditional milk tea (iced) which is strong black tea with milk and sweetener added. When you add the milk it allows you to see those beautiful black "bubbles" at the bottom of your glass. It happened that I had a straw that would accommodate the size of the pearls and I was in business--sucking up those yummy gummy pearls, chewing them as I slurped my way through my tea .
My next quest will be to find the colored tapioca pearls so I can make some fruity bubble tea.
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