Italy is a land that is blessed with a lot of the natural elements – sunlight, water, good soil – that makes it a very good place for plants to grow. So when harvest time comes, farmers are sure of getting huge volumes of fruits and vegetables like tomatoes.

Origin of Sun-dried Tomatoes

Centuries ago, the only means of preserving tomatoes was to salt them and dry them under the hot summer sun for several days. This process removes all of their water content, resulting to tomatoes that are deeper in color, richer in taste and more concentrated in vitamins and minerals.  This delicious and naturally preserved food has graced Italian dishes for a long, long time. Since it is packed with flavour and nutrients, it adds a special dimension to many dishes, making it popular not only in Italy but also here in Ireland. I have to make a note here though, due to its success on the tables around the world, the production of dried tomatoes has increased exponentially. Most of the dried tomatoes that you can find in Ireland and UK now is Oven Dried… the difference in taste is enormous. In fact you will notice that the oven dried tomatoes are sweet at the beginning but with a sharp acidic taste at the end because the fast drying process in the oven doesn’t let the natural acidity of the tomatoes disappear – that explains the taste. On the other hand, naturally Sun-dried Tomatoes have a sweet taste from the beginning to the end 🙂

Benefits of Sun-dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a substance that is known for its cancer-fighting properties. These food products are also good sources of calcium and iron so eating them regularly can make your bones and teeth healthier and stronger. Not to mention that they can also give you Vitamins A and C which can make your skin glow beautifully and improve your general health as well.

Uses of Sun-dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried Tomatoes: Origin, Benefits and Uses

Delicious, nutritious sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are one of the food products that can be used in many different ways. You can add it to pasta sauces to give them a deliciously sweet-sour taste and liven up your omelettes, bruschettas, fritattas and other tomato-based dishes. Sun-dried tomato pate can be enjoyed with your favorite bread and used as a nutritious, mouthwatering dip. Or try spreading it on white fish (cod, haddock, hake or your favourite) and bake it for 15/20 min, depending on the size and thickness of the fish. Enjoy! Now, if you love spicy foods, you can also try Pronto spaghetti. As the name suggests, you can use it with spaghetti or better yet, try it with our Seafood spaghetti recipe :-).

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