Wondering what tapioca balls are made of? Grown in the tropics, the cassava or tapioca plant produces a fleshy edible root stock. A nutritious starch is extracted from cassava and formed into "pearls". Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca contains no sulfites or other additives. These Tapioca pearls are practically flavorless on their own but soak up the flavor of what they are cooked or soaked in. Tapioca balls can be used in desserts and sweetened drinks, and as a thickener in puddings, pies and jellies.