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Country Discussion Topics
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Sun dried tomatoes
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Jim(MO)    Posted 02-26-2003 at 09:07:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Earlier posts about spring coming and garden planing brought this to mind. Has anyone here succesfully sun dried these thing? I love those litte sweet things in soups, salads, etc. but the store bought are expensive. On the couple of occasions that I've tried to do this the pieces got moldy before they completely dried. I've dried morels and chili peppers but just can't get this right.

InVermont    Posted 02-26-2003 at 12:34:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
I dried some Amish Paste and Viva Italia tomatoes last year- I used an Excalibur dehydrator and they took several hours to dry (but I had nine trays of slices going at once- yes, I sliced them rather than take the chance the inside of a halved tomato wouldn't really dry)- They turned out fantastic- I would caution you though- Here in Vermont, electric rates are some of the highest in the country and I could tell the difference in my bill. After the first month, I dried from ~8:00pm through to about 7:00am- (my electric is calculated for every 24 hour period-from midnight to midnight) so my usage would be stretched across two days. Even with the increase in utility costs, I appreciate eating those dried tomatoes- they don't rehydrate just like ripe ones, but the flavor is intensified and I use them on pasta, on pizza (i soak them a little in water and scatter them on the pizza about 7 minutes before it is done baking; keeps them from burning)and even just plain out of the baggie I store them in. What a treat!

Tom A    Posted 02-26-2003 at 10:19:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've got friends who successfully sun dry in small quantities, but say you can't do lots, at least around here where the humidity is so high.

But they dry larger quantities using two of those drying machines. The quality they produce is good, so I've been thinking about buying one for myself.


Ludwig    Posted 02-26-2003 at 09:11:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
While we're at it, a related topic is raisins and dried cranberries. I've tried to do 'em in the dehydrator but never get anything satisfatory. By the time the centers are dried right the husks become papery and you get crunchys, not good at all.

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