Today on the tray: A tapioca triple play

June 28 is National Tapioca Day.

Two days ago was National Chocolate Pudding Day, so it’s getting kind of boring to post about pudding. But tapioca is used for more than just pudding. It’s also used in those chewy globules that come in boba tea drinks.

According to Wikipedia, “Tapioca is a starch extracted from Manioc (Manihot esculenta). This species is native to the Northeast of Brazil but spread throughout the South American continent. The plant was spread by Portuguese and Spanish explorers to most of the West Indies, Africa and Asia, including the Philippines and Taiwan, being now cultivated worldwide.”

For National Tapioca Day, here’s a tapioca triple play: A pop song, a classic movie clip, and a vintage commercial.

Mike Nesmith wrote this Monkees song, “Tapioca Tundra,” which was released on the album The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees.

Tapioca Tundra, The Monkees (1968)

Here’s a scene from Thoroughly Modern Millie where flapper Julie Andrews does a dance named after the dessert she just ate—guess what it was!

The Tapioca dance from Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

Last but not least, here’s a 1955 commercial for Jell-O Chocolate Tapioca Pudding.

Jell-O Chocolate Tapioca Pudding commercial (1955)

“…Jell-O Chocolate Tapioca, the different dessert that’s so delicious too — each bite full of rich, creamy chocolate tapioca flavor! And look: A large bowl like this takes only five quick minutes to prepare — so easy for Mother! And so nourishing for the children.”

Have a happy National Tapioca Day, and don’t forget: When life hands you lumps, make tapioca pudding.

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