Dried Fruit Category
Dried fruit is a terrific snack, but cooks also use it in everything from muffins to stews. Drying has the obvious advantage of letting us enjoy our favorite fruit when it's out of season, but it also serves to concentrate the fruit's flavor and sugar. Since high concentrations of sugar ward off bacteria, dried fruit can last up to a year without refrigeration.
If you live in a hot, dry climate, you can dry fruit just by leaving it out in the sun for a few days. Otherwise, you can use an oven or dehydrator. Sulfur dioxide is sometimes added to the fruit to improve its shelf life and color. If you're allergic to it, you can usually find unsulfured dried fruit at health food stores or you can remove some of the sulfur by boiling treated dried fruit for a minute or so, then draining off the liquid.