Tapioca Pearl is readily available from the Chinese supermarket and comes in a variety of colours, from starchy beige to unicorn jiz. I opt for the unicorn jiz.
Just boil one cup in 10 cups of water.
It sinks at first but quickly rises.
Then you just need to turn the heat down, whack a lid on, and simmer it for five minutes.
At the straining stage I recommend getting a six your old to blow on it, although this isn't essential. (Other ages may also work well but I haven't tried.)
It can then be decanted into a drink of your choice. Milky tea is suggested although we opt for warm milk for the initial test batch.
You get a lovely looking rainbow-balled juice like the above.
This can then be decanted and drank...
...and found to be too bland so honey can be added.
You can then settle down to savour the rest of the drink whilst wondering what goes into those balls. The warning "Not to be consumed by children under 3" makes sense given the chunks. They were chewy, but shouldn't represent a serious choking hazard to anyone over that age. We are then warned "to be careful when consuming hot or cold drinks!" A nice catch-all this one. Although one does worry some soup drinkers may not take heed. The warning concludes, "The starch used as protection on the surface is natural, please be at ease to enjoy it!" Thanks for that. I feel much better. So now I only need worry about the artificial colors Yellow No6, Red No40, LtYellow No5, Purple (Red No40 and Blue No1), Green (Blue No1 and Yellow No5) and the Dehydroacetic Acid.
"Dehydroacetic acid is a pyrone derivative used as a fungicide and bactericide. It is used to reduce pickle bloating as a preservative for squash and strawberries. The sodium salt, sodium dehydroacetate, is often used in place of dehydroacetic acid because of its greater solubility in water. Industrially, it is also used as a plasticizer in a variety of synthetic resins."
Hmm. I always regret looking up what's in food.
Ah well. Most of it got drunk. We both gave up without finishing the whole lot. In my case because jaw ache was setting in and in the newphew's case probably just boredom. Extracting scores from him was probably the most difficult part of the whole exercise so I can conclude that DIY chunk making is a great way to entertain kids.