Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Ho to make truly sun - dried tomatoes

I usually get asked quite a lot how to make sun – dried tomatoes when selling my products in food events. Although I sell sun – dried tomatoes people seem to be intrigued by the fact of how they actually are done. Well, this is a very simple question depending on which version you are interested in. If you would like to know how the industrially made sun – dried tomatoes are done, ie, the ones sold in supermarkets and mainstream shops they are oven dried. For this well just simply just put the tomatoes in the oven for many many hours on a low temperature and vuola! Done! However, if you interested in how truly sun – dried tomatoes are made ie how we make them in Italy, then continue reading this article.

Although you can get sun – dried tomatoes almost anywhere nowadays I have to say not all the sun – dried tomatoes you find are good quality or organic or handmade or made as we in Italy traditionally make them. Like all my products and this may sound very cocky I’m proud to say that my sun – dried tomatoes are one of the best in the market, at least, of the ones I’ve seen and tasted in the UK.

Although sun – dried tomatoes as its name is just a tomato that has been dried originally dried under the sun, the flavours you find in oven dried and sun dried tomatoes are significally different. You might ask why? Well simply because truly sun – dried tomatoes are dried under the natural heat of the sun which doesn’t add artificial flavours to the fruit. They dry quicker because the steam coming out of the fruit from the evaporation of the juices will not re-enter the fruit, it will evaporate into the open air unlike the oven dry making the tomatoes dryer therefore extending its best before date.

So, how to make sun – dried tomatoes.

1) Cut the tomatoes in half

2) You can take the seeds and pulp out or leave there, is up to you.

3) Rub the tomatoes with rock salt or how we call it in Italy “sale grosso”.

4) Place tomatoes in a sort of grill where they can be lifted from surfaces so the juices can run out.

5) Place in them in a sunny place, where they can get as much direct sun light as possible.

6) The process can take 1 week or more depending on how strong the sun is.

7) Place a mesh on top of them so insects or dirt can’t touch the tomatoes.

8) During the night place them inside so the humidity from the night and morning does not “wet” the tomatoes.

9) You will know if the tomatoes are ready by touching them and checking for moisture. If they are still soft then they still have juices so they need to go back in the sun. You’ll see when they are ready because also the colour will be darker.

10) When they are ready place them in a cool place so they cool down. You can put them in a bag or jar without any oil and use them when needed.

11) If you want to put them in a jar with oil, wash them first so you can get rid of the salt, dry them immediately with a clean tea towel and place them in the jar. Stuck them quite together and fill the jar with olive oil until all the tomatoes are completely submerged.

12) Every time you take a tomato out top up the oil so all the tomatoes are always submerged.

13) The tomatoes will last a very long time I had mine for more than 6 months in the fridge.

Sun Dried Tomatoes

No comments:

Post a Comment