Where to find Sun-dried Tomatoes in grocery store?
There is some confusion as to whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable. Most nutritionists classify them as the former, seeing as tomatoes are fleshy and contain seeds. Nevertheless, they have been classified as vegetables by some because they are cooked and prepared the same way as other vegetables. Tomatoes are popular around the world for their nutritional value and great taste. This article will discuss one of the many forms tomatoes take in food processing: sun-dried.
Sun-dried tomatoes are essentially tomatoes that have been dried in the sun for some days. Tomatoes themselves are a species (solanum lycopersicum) belonging to the biological family of the nightshade. The species is native to the South American continent.
Tomatoes are so valued by dieticians because they are a great source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant with several health benefits. Some of these benefits are sun protection and reduced risk of cancer, heart problems, and stress. Tomatoes are nutritionally beneficial, containing potassium, folate, vitamins K and C.
When tomatoes are sun-dried, they lose almost all of their moisture or water content. Prior to sun-drying, the tomatoes are treated with salt for the purpose of improving their color. Generally, tomatoes need to spend around 5-10 days in the outdoors, in the sun, to attain sun-dried status. During the process, almost all of the fresh weight of the tomato is lost. Since tomatoes contain a considerable amount of water (at least 80%), it is no surprise that sun-drying greatly reduces the overall weight of tomatoes by around 90%.
Sun-drying will not make any of the tomatoes lose their nutritional value. Sun-dried tomatoes will also contain about 5% salt from the pre-treatment. Sun-dried tomatoes can be made not only from the red species but also the yellow kind. In addition to the actual sun-drying, which is also a form of preserving tomatoes, additional spices such as rosemary, garlic, basil, and olive oil can be added to the mix, to influence the overall flavor.
Other than salt, burning sulfur can also be applied in pre-treatment. Direct exposure to sunlight without some form of pre-treatment of the tomatoes can make them lose their color and flavor. In addition, it makes the tomatoes repellent to prowling rodents, birds, and insects within the vicinity of the sun-drying process. Pre-treatment with elemental sulfur often takes about twelve hours to complete. It is important to ensure that enough space is created for sun-drying, especially when a large quantity of tomatoes is involved. Further protection is afforded by the placement of canvas to serve as windbreaks.
What aisles are sun-dried tomatoes found in grocery stores?
You can find sun-dried tomatoes in grocery stores in the section dedicated to vegetables. You can also find them in the produce section. If you’ve checked these places and still cannot find them, then your best option is the bulk section.
You can also check the section playing host to nuts and dried fruits. The pasta section is also ideal, as what you’re looking for will probably be sitting on shelves right next to actual, fresh tomatoes.
Grocery stores usually stock up on different brands of sun-dried tomatoes. Below are a number of stores to check out in your search:
- Walmart: Walmart stores have sun-dried tomatoes for sale that can be found in the canned veggies aisle or the produce section. In fact, chances are you’ll find some in both sections.
- Amazon: Amazon is that one store that sells basically everything that can be bought, so you’d do very well to check out their store for sun-dried tomatoes. Since Amazon is an online store, it becomes even more convenient to make purchases.
- Kroger: You can also find sun-dried tomatoes on Kroger in either of the vegetables or produce sections. Kroger tends to stock up on different brands, so you have a number of options to choose from.
- Publix: Public remains a great option as well if you’re looking to buy sun-dried tomatoes
- Safeway: Safeways stores are a great place to buy sun-dried tomatoes; look out for a store in your area.
- Target: Target has a great assortment to choose from in their canned goods section. Options available include Alessie and Mazzetta.
- Wegmans: You can always surf through their website as they usually have a variety of brands available
Guide to buy sun-dried tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes arent fresh tomatoes that you check for obvious signs of rot and spoilage. Nevertheless, below are a few important things you should look out for when buying sun-dried tomatoes.
- Look out for sun-dried tomatoes that have a waxy feel to them. You should never buy ones that feel brittle.
- Do not buy the ones that come in cans. If you’re not totally sure of their quality, there’s a good chance that it will taste metallic.
- You can also touch them or take a quick sniff to make sure that you’re not buying spoiled ones.
The drying procedure more or less concentrates all of the flavors of the tomatoes, so getting direct replacements will be tricky if you won’t be thinning your sauce. You can do any of the following:
- You can use more cups of drained tomatoes. Less means a thinner sauce, so choose accordingly.
- You can also use canned tomatoes of the plum type. San Marzanos is also a great option.
- You can use tomato paste that is double concentrated. Anything less than this will deliver a thin sauce. It’ll also probably be less tasty.
Sun-dried tomatoes can be used to make any of these exciting recipes:
- You can make traditional pesto by making use of sundried tomatoes. In this instance, the tomatoes are chopped. Adding the sauce to foods like pasta gives a great, great taste.
- You can also add sun-dried tomatoes to seafood such as crab salad. The taste is truly exquisite. In this case, the sun-dried tomatoes are made into tomato vinaigrette, tks north point custard