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Dried Fruits

Dried fruits are somewhat of a very big thing around the Near East, with the people around here eating them as part of the regular daily diet. Dried fruit can keep for a very long time in tightly closed metal or glass containers, often several years. Nuts, of course, which contain almost no water to start with, keep much longer than the juicier dried peaches and papaya. But heavily dried apples, bananas, and raisins can also keep in jars for over a year. In markets - the fruit is usually sold from burlap sacks, but those are not good for storing over a couple of months, depending on your climate (in a dry desert climate - raisins and pistachio nuts can keep a year in a regular burlap sack.) Usually humidity makes its way in to start a fungus mold. I've come across raisins packed in regular nylon store packages, that have been sitting around shelves for several years - and were still edible. Perhaps one needs vacuum packing for that, but I think that just manually processing the bag to get the air out is enough. Of course, those old raisins are pretty lame tasting, and are basically as hard as crackers. That's the whole point, there's no water left in them, so they keep longer... But the important thing is that the energy parts of it - the sugar and vitamins - stay in there after it's dried.

Having written all that - I did a search and just found a great link on the Internet which is an Online Book of fruit and vegetable processing! It has an absolutely incredible wealth of information. It's geared mostly for fruit producers who want to make money, but gives great pointers to everyone.

Offered by Sol