Definition of SAGO


Sago is primarily a noun referring to a starch extracted from the spongy center, or pith, of various tropical palm stems. It is used as a food ingredient in many cuisines around the world. The word sago can also refer to the palm trees from which the starch is derived.

As a noun, sago refers to the starchy substance obtained from the pith of sago palms. For example, “Sago is commonly used to make puddings and other desserts,” indicates its culinary use.

Source and Extraction: Sago is derived from several species of palm trees, including the Metroxylon sagu. The extraction process involves harvesting the palm trunk, splitting it open, and removing the starchy pith, which is then processed to produce the fine sago pearls. For instance, “The villagers processed the sago palms to extract the starch,” describes the extraction method.

Culinary Uses: Sago is a versatile ingredient in cooking. It is often used in desserts such as puddings and bubble tea, as well as in savory dishes. For example, “She prepared a traditional sago pudding for dessert,” shows one of its common uses.

Nutritional Value: Sago is predominantly composed of carbohydrates and provides a quick source of energy. However, it lacks significant amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. For instance, “Sago is a staple food in many parts of Southeast Asia due to its high carbohydrate content,” reflects its dietary role.

Cultural Significance: Sago holds cultural importance in many regions where it is traditionally harvested and consumed. It is a staple food in parts of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Malaysia. For example, “In Papua New Guinea, sago is a major part of the local diet,” highlights its cultural relevance.

In conclusion, sago is a starchy substance extracted from the pith of various tropical palms, used widely in cooking for both sweet and savory dishes. As a staple food in several cultures, it provides a significant source of carbohydrates and holds cultural importance in many regions. The versatility and widespread use of sago underscore its importance in traditional diets around the world.

Examples of SAGO in a sentence

  • The dessert was made with creamy coconut milk and chewy sago pearls.
  • She cooked a traditional Indonesian dish with sago as the main ingredient.
  • They enjoyed a refreshing drink made from crushed ice and sweetened sago.
  • The tapioca sago added texture to the soup.
  • He sprinkled toasted sago over the top of the pudding for added crunch.
  • The local market sold bags of raw sago for cooking.
  • She soaked the sago pearls in water before adding them to the recipe.
  • They savored the delicate flavor of the steamed sago cakes.

Origin of SAGO

The term sago has its etymological origins deeply rooted in Austronesian languages, particularly Malay.

  • Austronesian Origins: “Sago” originates from the Malay word “sagu,” which refers to the starchy pith extracted from the sago palm tree (Metroxylon sagu). The sago palm is native to Southeast Asia and is widely cultivated for its starchy trunk, which serves as a valuable food source.
  • Staple Food: Sago has been a staple food for many indigenous communities in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Oceania for centuries. The starchy pith of the sago palm is processed into various forms, including flour, pearls, and cakes, which are used in cooking and baking.
  • Cultural Significance: Sago holds significant cultural and economic importance in many indigenous societies, where it is often used in traditional cuisines and rituals. It is valued for its nutritional content, long shelf life, and versatility in culinary applications.
  • Global Adoption: While sago is primarily consumed in regions where the sago palm is endemic, it has gained some international popularity as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. Sago pearls are commonly used in desserts, beverages, and as a thickening agent in cooking.

From its origins as a staple food of indigenous communities to its global recognition as a versatile culinary ingredient, the term sago reflects the rich cultural heritage and ecological significance of the sago palm and its products.


  • Tapioca
  • Starch
  • Sago palm
  • Sago flour
  • Sago pearls
  • Cassava
  • Sagopalm
  • Sagostarch


  • Grain
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Millet
  • Quinoa


  • Palm
  • Tree
  • Tropical
  • Food
  • Cuisine
  • Ingredient
  • Cooking
  • Dessert

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