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Tubers and Dried Fruit Month – January 2023

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

12,000 B.C.
Drying Fruits

The practice of drying fruits begins in Asia and the Middle Eastern region.

6000 B.C.
Viticulture Takes Birth

Grape cultivation starts in the Tigris-Euphrates region — other fruits, primarily dates, and figs are also cultivated for preservation purposes.

1700 B.C.
‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’

‘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.

1500 B.C.
Mesopotamian Recipes

The first known documentation of dried fruits is found inscribed on tablets discovered in the Mesopotamian region.

100 B.C.
A Staple Diet

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

  1. 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.

  2. Prepare a good stew

    Enjoy a winter-appropriate hearty stew. Use dried fruits, potatoes, or yams.

  3. 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

  1. Egyptian burials

    Dried fruits were buried in the coffins of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

  2. Nutrient density

    By weight, a dried fruit contains 3.5 times more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than its fresh counterpart.

  3. Moisture matters

    A fruit is considered dried when its moisture content drops below 20%.

  4. Dark and golden raisins

    Dark and golden raisins are the same, except that golden raisins are treated with sulfur dioxide.

  5. 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

  1. It appreciates different food groups

    Both tubers and fruits are abundant in nutrients. Tubers and Dried Fruit Month honors these two amazing foods.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

YearDateDay
2023January 1Sunday
2024January 1Monday
2025January 1Wednesday
2026January 1Thursday
2027January 1Friday
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