What Is Boba, Anyway (Other Than Dang Delicious)?

I first encountered boba when I was visiting Singapore in the
summer of 2002. I was wandering down Orchard Road with my aunt, in
the heart of the city’s main shopping district, noticing just how
hot and sticky the summer heat was. Eventually fed up with my
complaints of thirst, she paused for a moment, told me to hang
tight, and disappeared for a few minutes.

My aunt returned with two sealed cups of a pastel-colored,
creamy-looking liquid—one lavender, one mint-green—and
brandishing two thick, plastic straws that looked like they were
made for giants. As she came closer, I noticed there was a dark,
syrupy mass pooled at the bottom of the drink.

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Source: FS – All – Food – News
What Is Boba, Anyway (Other Than Dang Delicious)?