The true origin of sun-dried tomatoes is unclear. Italians originally dried salted tomatoes on their ceramic roof tops in the summer sun. This process removes all the water content, resulting in the tomatoes becoming richer in color and taste with more concentrated minerals and vitamins. On the other hand, it is possible to oven dry tomatoes but the difference in taste is enormous. The fast drying process will not allow the natural acidity of the tomatoes to disappear, giving them a sharp acidic after taste. True sun-dried tomatoes have a sweet taste from beginning to the end.
The popularity of sun-dried tomatoes in North America surged in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. At that time they were classed as a gourmet ingredient found only in the specialty isle of the grocery store. Today that is no longer the case. Their very unique flavor pairs well with a variety of dishes making them staples in our everyday cooking. My choice today, is to use them in stuffing for chicken breast.