This morning I harvested two varieties of tapioca leaves at the farm. One has short broader leaves and the other narrow and slightly longer leaves. Tapioca comes from the family of Euphorbiaceae and its botanical name is Manihot esculenta crantz. Locally tapioca is called 'ubi kayu' or 'ubi Belanda'. In Malay 'Belanda' means Dutch. Now that explains well the story that the early Europeans were responsible for introducing the tapioca plant to this part of the world from where it originated i.e. Tropical America. Over time the tapioca became a common plant grown in many tropical areas of the world.
The young leaves can be eaten raw as salad or prepared with coconut milk as vegetables. These leaves can easily be bought at any local jungle produce markets in Sarawak called 'tamu'. The leaves contain protein, carotine and Vitamin C and is good for our eyes.
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