Sago is extracted from the pith of the Asian sago palm (Sagus farinifera). A single trunk will yield 600 pounds of the refined starch which is used for thickening soups, puddings, and gravies. After grinding, washing, and straining the pulp, the starch is dried into small pellets. The finest sago has a slightly reddish hue. Sago can sometimes be found in shops that sell Oriental spices and groceries, but it is not readily available in American supermarkets. Depending on the recipe, cornstarch or tapioca may be substituted. (Webster and Parkes, Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy, 767; Fitzgibbon, Food of the Western World, 406; and Rombauer and Becker, Joy of Cooking, 500.)

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