In the Philippines, it's locally known as Sago. Tapioca pearls are made from, you guessed it tapioca, which has been processed from the bitter cassava (sometimes called manioc or yuca) plant.
Even though the cassava is a native of South America, it has been introduced to some Asian countries in the 19th century by some of their European conquerors. Its Asian counterpart quickly took hold of the Asian taste making it a staple food in some of the countries it has been given to; some say that Asia has a far more favorable disposition to Asia, making it an all purposeful plant.
White or clear tapioca pearls are the traditional tapioca balls. Since boba pearls comes from cassava plant and caramel, this is the normal color for the tapioca pearls. It is can be turned to black because of the addition of brown sugar. The black tapioca pearl, which is the more popular of the two nowadays, gained its momentum thanks to the bubble milk tea craze.
In New Brunswick, you can get Sago or Tapioca pearls and other Filipino grocery items from AngKapitbahay – your friendly neighborhood online grocery store serving Philippine products to New Brunswick residents.