The tradition of preparing dried fruit exists in almost every country. Since the ancient times, the easiest method of preserving fruits for winter was drying them, as at the same time it worked as the best vitamin storage for the colder season of the year. The technology of preparing this product has refined throughout the years and reached its new heights. Popular fruits for drying are plums, apricot, grapes, apples, figs, persimmons, etc. People even dry mulberry in Meskheti and Javakheti regions of Georgia. Dried fruits are used in pilafs, as well as in pastry and meat dishes.
The basic method of drying is placing fruits outside, in the shadow. In some countries, people dry fruits even in the hot sand. Also, there are special electric devices for drying. In Georgia people used to dry fruits in "thone" (special Georgian bakery). Georgian dried delicacies are grape-juice dipped dried black plums and figs, as well as peach and persimmon with walnut filling. Dried peach with walnut filling is a traditional treat in Armenia and requires some special processing.
Dried vegetables are less popular, however, it's known for being delicious and healthy. We can dry eggplant, green beans, tomatoes. Dried tomatoes are frequently used in Italian cuisine – where dried tomatoes are rested in spiced up olive oil with garlic. Tomatoes are also part of various salads and dishes. Kakhetians had recipes for drying tomatoes. They were kept in linen bags and later added to various meals. Eventually, the tradition died out.
Fruits and vegetables both should be placed in a cool, dry place. Avoid drying in humid weather as your fruits may get mould.