Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 30, 2007
I ate Tapioca here in Togo today.
It started yesterday, as the polite cleaning girl here in my quasi home stay rental room in Lome, Togo asked me,
- Do you want to eat La Bouillie de Tapioca? -
This is a photo of the tray brought to my room around 7:30 am, after I opened the door to a very quite tapping on the door. I was told the day before, however I thought she said, rice, I now realize she said both rice and La Bouillie de Tapioca. I am debating, maybe this means baby food or maybe it means boiled, my French dictionary and Systran Translators is not helping clarify.
My literal from French to English is
- The Baby food of Tapioca.-
This is a photo of the Cassava or Manioc Tapioca served to me, then I poured into a cup, they kept asking is it hot. I poured some onto the plate, so I could take a better photo. They say the word cassava, and then add the word manioc to me; I then try to learn the word in the Ewe Language.
This is a photo of words the cleaning girl or servant girl Adjo politely wrote down for me.
French Language: La Bouillie de Tapioca
Ewe Language or the Local Mina Language: Tapioca Zogbe
English: The Baby food of Tapioca
If I desire to eat the same food repeatedly, it is best to learn the local word for the food, then I am able to purchase or have made faster. They call this food in Ewe, Zogbe, although the e is not an e, if you look close, it is written different.
Tapioca is an essentially flavourless starchy ingredient, or fecula, produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root. and used in cooking. It is similar to sago and is commonly used to make a milky pudding similar to rice pudding. Purchased tapioca comprises many small white spheres each about 2 mm in diameter (althugh larger grain sizes are available). These are not seeds, but rather reconstituted processed root. The processing concept is akin to the way that wheat is turned into pasta. These tapioca pearls are made mostly of tapioca starch, which comes from the tapioca, or bitter-cassava plant. In other parts of the world, the bitter-cassava plant may be called "manioca" or "yucca".
Cassava is native to South America. The balls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. The pearls have little taste, and are usually combined with other ingredients, savory or sweet.
Tapioca is a word derived from the Tupi language of Brazil (from tipi'óka).  This refers to the process through which cassava (Manihot esculenta) is made edible. We should note, however, that as the word moved out of South America it came to refer to similar preparations made with other esculents: 'Tapioca' in Britain often refers to a rice pudding thickened with arrowroot, while in Asia the sap of the Sago palm is often part of its preparation.
Note: For you SEO junkies, I went for the one word title of Tapioca, this means I hope to get in the top 10 search resuts, I normally target farther down.Tapioca
tapioca is famous in britain for being the 'school dinners pudding'. Schools of my parents' generation used to serve this as a cheap alternative to 'rice pudding'. Apparently, most kids hated it, so it has a sort of infamy.
la bouille is not baby food
in this instance la bouilli de tapioca would be better translated as tapioca porridge - bouille is from bouillir which is french for to boil
tapioca is readily available in North
America - often used to thicken sauces or as stated earlier by someone to make pudding - which of course is made by boiling water to which you add tapioca - hence a bouilli de tapioca
This is an example of me playing with the learning of languages. A person is going to come to West Africa, maybe Togo.
There will be a word like bouille and they will believe they understand. The Togo or West Afican person will believe they explained the meaning. Maybe the French have a meaning and maybe Togo people use different.
I am told by a Togo girl that Bouillie is the mixing of flour and hot water. Plus they spelled it different and this was not one person, this was three Togo people checking the spelling.
La Bouillie de Tapioca
Then comes the question of cassava, is the Tapioca in the USA made with cassava?
Topico is to me the forming of beads in the hot water. I will go on with them and see if they can make this out of other types of flour.
Language is literal, and what they intend it to mean, and I have learned, listen to what they intend to say, this is how to communicate.