Tubers and Dried Fruit Month is celebrated in January annually to recognize and appreciate the immense benefits that tubers and dried foods provide. They are often considered winter staples since, just like potatoes and yams, they are perfect for healthy winter dishes too. These sturdy crops are immensely filling and feature in a large variety of winter recipes. Drying fresh fruits helps increase their shelf-life, which makes them available during harsh winter months, when fresh fruits are out of season or not readily available. Interestingly, drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation.
History of Tubers and Dried Fruit Month
A tuber is a specialized storage stem in specific seed plants. Tubers are usually short, thick, starch-storing, grow beneath the Earth, and are the staples of a winter diet. Dried fruits are fruits grown across all seasons, and that have had most of their water extracted. This allows people to preserve and enjoy them during harsh winters and off-seasons.
Fruit drying is an age-old tradition that began around 12,000 B.C. in Asia and the Middle East. Dried fruits like raisins, figs, dates, and apples have been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for several centuries. The earliest recorded mention of dried fruits can be found inscribed on ancient Mesopotamian tablets discovered in the region. These stone tablets, dating back to 1500 B.C., contain some of the oldest written recipes. Dates and figs were some of the first fruits to be cultivated and were dried for preservation. When grape cultivation began in Armenia and the eastern part of the Mediterranean region around 6000 B.C., grapes used to be dried in the intense desert heat to turn them into raisins. The tradition of producing raisins soon spread across the world as viticulture spread its wings. As the cultivation of these fruits increased, so did the practice of drying them. By 100 B.C., dried fruits had become a staple in the Roman diet.
Other fruits that are also consumed in dried forms include plums, apricots, and peaches. These originated in ancient China, around the third millennium B.C. They soon traveled to the fertile crescent, then to Europe, and became staple food items there.
Tubers and Dried Fruit Month timeline
The practice of drying fruits begins in Asia and the Middle Eastern region.
Grape cultivation starts in the Tigris-Euphrates region — other fruits, primarily dates, and figs are also cultivated for preservation purposes.
‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ a beautiful poem that mentions ancient Sumerian grapes and vineyards while also celebrating the exploits of the real King of Uruk, appears.
The first known documentation of dried fruits is found inscribed on tablets discovered in the Mesopotamian region.
Dried fruits become an important part of the Roman diet.
Tubers and Dried Fruit Month FAQs
Are dried apricots seasonal?
No, you can enjoy them all year long.
Is a date a fruit or a dried fruit?
Dates are fruits but are often dried for selling purposes.
Are dates always dried?
Not necessarily. Dates can be enjoyed in their fresh form as well.
Tubers and Dried Fruit Month Activities
Learn about tubers and dried fruits
This Tubers and Dried Fruit Month, it is a good idea to learn more about food preservation. Read more about tubers and dried fruit.
Prepare a good stew
Enjoy a winter-appropriate hearty stew. Use dried fruits, potatoes, or yams.
Eat dried fruits
To appreciate the richness and health benefits of dried foods, include them in your diet. It’s a good idea to consume them regularly.
5 Interesting Facts About Dried Fruit
Dried fruits were buried in the coffins of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
By weight, a dried fruit contains 3.5 times more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than its fresh counterpart.
A fruit is considered dried when its moisture content drops below 20%.
Dark and golden raisins
Dark and golden raisins are the same, except that golden raisins are treated with sulfur dioxide.
The most popular dried fruit
Raisins make up more than half of all sales of dried fruit.
Why We Love Tubers and Dried Fruit Month
It appreciates different food groups
Both tubers and fruits are abundant in nutrients. Tubers and Dried Fruit Month honors these two amazing foods.
It’s a great way to enrich winter recipes
Tubers are an important part of many winter recipes. Tubers and Dried Fruit Month is the perfect opportunity to try out some of these and enrich the usual winter dishes in a healthy way.
It’s an opportunity to consume more dried fruits
Dried fruits are not only full of nutrients but extremely delicious as well. Grab every opportunity to have more of them!
Tubers and Dried Fruit Month dates