According to historians, cassava comes from South America. It most likely originated in Brazil and Paraguay. Historians also believed that it was first cultivated about 10,000 years ago and would migrate throughout Central America and the Caribbean long before Columbus and other colonials arrived in the New World. After the Europeans arrived they continued cultivating it. Cassava — also called manioc — was used aboard slave ships as rations for the slaves. This was probably how cassava made its way to Africa. The root would reach Asia via the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.
Cassava has long been used to make cassava flour. It is important to note that cassava flour differs from tapioca though both are sourced from the same plant. Tapioca starch is the refined starch from the cassava root, whereas cassava flour is made with the whole starchy root. To make the flour, the cassava root is dried and ground.