Thursday, August 14, 2008
This weekend we headed over the state fair. Granted we got there a little late, and had to leave a little early due to a torrential rainstorm, but boy, we had fun. While I do not condone the use of elephants in a circus sitiuation, we did however contribute to the traveling zoo's bank account with an elephant ride for Stu and Sophia. Stu's leg immediately cramped and he was stuck on the back of the elephant with a grueling Charlie Horse.
This is, apparently, Bubble Tea. For the first-timers, ordering a Bubble Tea can be an event. A confusing event, as your brain and your mouth can't figure out what on earth it is experiencing, The tea or, some sort of gummy candy. The unique ingredient of Bubble Tea is the tapioca pearl. About the size of pearls or small marbles, they have a consistency like gummy candy (soft and chewy). Being heavier than the drink they tend to always stay near the bottom of the glass. These drinks are usually served in large see-through plastic containers with an extra-wide straw to sip these jumbo pearls. Just sucking on the translucent straw creates a show, with pearls floating up in succession. I ordered the "Vanilla Chai" which tasted fine, until I got a mouth full of gummy balls that tasted like a cross between Molasses and coffee grounds. I read that children like to blow the balls out from the straw to shoot at targets or at each other.
Some people find the tapioca balls bizarre and repelling. I was somewhere in the middle.
"The Bubble Tea craze has been huge in Taiwan, and other parts of Southeast Asia for the last 15 years. In fact, Bubble Tea has taken Taiwan by storm over the past decade. The drink originally started as a childhood treat in Taiwan in the late 1980's at small tea stands in front of the schoolhouses. Teenagers and elementary school children looked forward to their after school tea. Tapioca pearls are made mostly from tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is starch made from tapioca or bitter-cassava plant, sometimes called manioca or yuca in some parts of the world. The bitter-cassava plant is native to South America and was introduced into Asia sometime during the 19th century. Someone came up with the idea of adding tapioca pearls as a bit of novelty, and the idea spread. This created a new fad of adding tapioca pearls into the children's favorite tea drinks. "
So now you have learned something new... that we love the state fair, and that there's a new drink craze out there that I didn't know about that will remind you of eating frogs eggs.