The Benefits of Dried Fruit Baskets
Usually combined with varieties of nuts, dried fruit baskets have become the second most popular version of the original fresh fruit basket today. According to growers and manufacturers, dried fruit baskets have soared in recent years due to the amount of time one can take to consume the dried product and still have it taste as delicious as the day it arrived.
The most popular dried fruit baskets are composed of washed Mediterranean apricots, California pears, Middle Eastern dates and figs, as well as combinations of dried fruits such as coconut / date rolls and dried pineapple rings with a dried cherry in the middle. Another factor that has aided the dried fruit basket reach the lofty heights of success is the healthy aspect of dried fruits. The healthiest ones are sun dried, without the aid of chemical agents to speed the process or preserve the flavor and contain little or no added sugar. In addition, many distributors of dried fruit baskets follow religious food preparation mandates to make their products acceptable for use as a gift on popular religious holidays such as Passover and Ramadan.
The key to producing a quality dried fruit basket is much the same as for a fresh fruit basket. Begin with high quality fruits, grown under strict organic guidelines, picked at the peak of freshness and rushed into the drying process as quickly as possible to preserve their flavor. The additional factor, the drying process itself, must be done in a similar high quality manner to produce a finished product. If you visit a farm that specializes in high quality dried fruits, you'll learn that each fruit has its own, specific drying formula handed down from generation to generation.
When the sun is used to dry most of the fruit, not much has changed from the way it was done back in Biblical times. The changes have to do with mass production of products that stress quantity over quality. Cherries have to be pitted before they're dried so the finished product can be eaten like a raisin. Pineapples need a sugary glaze so the acidic component of the fruit does not hasten decomposition. Apricots, pears, apples and even banana slices are the driest of the dried fruits, requiring no sugary coating, but must be properly ventilated during drying to remove all of the moisture. Drying fruit is an art more than a science, especially when quality is the desired result.