There is no better tomato than the sun dried variety. Sun dried tomatoes add great flavor and intensity to many dishes and salads. If only they were more affordable. Actually, many sun dried tomatoes sold in the shops are not really dried in the sun at all. Beware of some imports from the US, Turkey or Greece; producers there have been known for a fiddle or two.
I cannot vouch for all the shops here in Mallorca but, if you know your source, chances are that the dried tomatoes bought have actually been sun dried. For the drying process, it all depends on the weather. In Mallorca, the sun is up at the right time of the tomato harvest. If the conditions are right, tomatoes can be dried in the sun in the course of five or six days but, in a period of overcast days with sunny intervals it may take two weeks to get the desired result. The drying process is aided by a sprinkle of salt and a whiff of black pepper. At night, the tomatoes have to be covered with plastic sheets to protect against the Mallorcan humidity. When I asked what kind of tomatoes are being used for the drying, I was told that any tomato would do as long as it was simpatico. I have bought best quality sun dried tomatoes at the market in Campos del Port, in Felanitx, in Vilafranca de Bonany and in Palma at the Mercat Olivar. The chiringuito fruit stall shown here is based at the bottom of the Sant Salvador monastery, just outside of Felanitx. Here, the home grown tomatoes are sun dried on the premises and they sell for 22 €/kg.
You might also want to have a go at sun drying your own tomatoes. If you live on this island you may have a chance to grow your own tomatoes. If so, and if you have your own garden or terraces, you could give it a go. Mind you, in my experience it takes years of experimenting with sun dried tomatoes but, if and when successful, the rewards are just blissful. Have a go. Be brave.
The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 12th, 2010. The time was 18:38:09.