My lunch jaunts can get pretty repetitive, so today I decided to shake it up – and headed to Chinatown for a cup of bubble tea: A mysterious – but popular – drink with black balls bobbing around the bottom.
Before I went, I had to check the stuff was vegetarian. I was suspicious that the squidgy, jelly-like balls had some sort of gelatine in them. But instead I learned that the balls – tapioca pearls – are made from a starch drawn from cassava plants. Sounds appetising, eh? I headed to Chinatown to a tiny bakery on Mott Street that had just three tables, crammed with people slurping from massive, steaming bowls of watery noodles. I was given a few choices of flavours for the bubble tea – honeydew, papaya, coconut – but I opted for mango on the assumption that mango makes everything delicious. Even squidgy black starch balls, I hoped.
And it was actually so much more delicious than I expected. The liquid was a sort of sweet milky juice – that didn’t taste much like mango – and the pearls were a chewy treat. They didn’t taste of anything much but for someone who’s not eaten jelly sweets in about ten years, it was a nice change of texture.
And good to shake it up for once!