Sun and Salt

What you need:

A tomato

Salt

A tennis racquet

A mosquito net

Sunlight

Knife

Adult supervision

What to do:

1. Cut the tomato into slices.

2. Place a couple of slices on the tennis racquet. Sprinkle them liberally with salt.

3. Cover the tomatoes with a thin mosquito net or a wire mesh colander.

4. Keep them outdoors where they will receive the maximum sunlight. (Remember to bring them indoors if it rains.)

5. Keep the remaining slices of the tomato in a dish indoors. Put salt over those too.

6. Observe the two sets of slices over the next few days.

What happens:

The tomato slices that have been placed in the sun dry and shrink over time.

The tomato slices placed indoors lose water and then spoil quickly.

Why?

When you place the tomatoes in the sun, the water in them starts to evaporate. The salt helps this drying process because it absorbs moisture. The absence of moisture thanks to sun and salt prevents the growth of microorganisms—bacteria, yeasts and molds need moisture to thrive. The poor slices of tomatoes kept indoors get spoiled due to the lack of sunlight and dryness.

Once the slices have dried up completely, you can store them in an airtight jar and use them whenever needed. Sun-dried tomatoes taste amazing on pizzas.

Many fruits and foods are dried using this method or more modern machines such as food dehydrators. When you dry foods, they lose water. This reduces their weight and makes storing and transporting them much easier.

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