DRYING FOOD IS ONE OF THE OLDEST PRESERVATION METHODS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF MANKIND
It was used centuries ago to preserve and store fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and poultry, and is still a central component of certain cultures today. Some age-old methods are still used to air dry raisins, plums, figs, apricots and peaches. Due to the effect of heat, almost all water evaporates from the food leaving only a 18 and 25% water content. It takes several days of direct sunlight and low humidity below 20% to achieve a longevity of 6 months to a year, as the low water content retards the spoilage process.
Geographical location is extremely important because of the low humidity, and Italy is particularly well known for its sun-dried tomatoes. The tomato Solanum lycopersicum was introduced to Europe from South America in the 16th century and spread rapidly, mainly throughout the Mediterranean. In Italy, it found the greatest recognition and is now an undisputed symbol of Italian cuisine and food culture. The sun, the warmth, the dry Mediterranean air, the salt and years of experience are the secret ingredients of the culinary tradition that has become synonymous and it is impossible to imagine appetizers and sauces without it.
The full article was first published in the Issue 19