Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes

Try Tomaccio Tomatoes

The most prolific tomato in my garden is ‘Tomaccio’™.

Cluster after cluster until frost.

‘Tomaccio’™ originated at Hishtil Nurseries in Israel as the result of a 12 year breeding program using wild Peruvian tomato species to create the world’s finest, sweetest snack tomato, fresh or dried. Europeans in France and Germany have been growing and enjoying tomato ‘tomaccio’ for several years.

These tomato plants are huge, about 7′ tall, so I trimmed the tomato plant and hung some of the tomato vines to dry to show you how to do it. Tomaccio are the first tomatoes to ripen, continuously producing cluster after cluster of fruit.

Bargain sun-dried tomatoes

I’ve been drying cherry tomatoes for many years because I love the intense tomato flavor in winter soups, on pizza, and in spaghetti sauce. Tomaccio are rich and sweet fresh off the vine, drying simply intensifies their flavor.

Living next the Mississippi River, the air is usually too humid for fruits to dry naturally, but a 5-tray food dehydrator makes fast work of drying cherry tomatoes. I cut each tomato in half and fill the trays in a single layer.

You can also dry tomatoes in an oven on 100-degree F for about 3 hours. Snack on the dried tomaccio or store in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer.

C. Raker & Sons partnered with the Israeli firm Hishtil to bring Tomaccio to the United States. Look for Tomaccio plants at independent garden centers next spring, or visit www.raker.com to find a retail source near you.

As a member of the Garden Writers Association, I had the opportunity to trial Tomaccio this summer. These plants are prolific. I think I am getting more tomatoes from a single Tomaccio plant than I would from three or four cherry or pear tomato plants. That’s more produce in less garden space.

Plants will grow to 9'

The plants continue to grow and produce sweet cherry tomatoes. Later, I’ll have more details about drying Tomaccio.

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