I love sun-dried tomatoes and eat them several times a week. It has always seemed slightly strange to me that the way that they were dried is so important to the final product that it requires mentioning the process in the name of product. Are lamp-dried tomatoes really so unacceptable? What is it that sun-drying adds over dry heat?
A few days ago, I remembered an older scrap of text by Seth Schoen and realized the obvious answer: it must be all of those delicious photons that get left behind in the tomatoes that make sun dried tomatoes so delicious.
Somewhat troublingly, my otherwise unimpeachable theory seems to be challenged by information I’ve found Googling that implies that there is some real misinformation out there in regards to sun-dried tomatoes and many "sun-dried" tomatoes are not sun-dried at all! That is to say, they are dried in ways that may not involve the sun or even light! Apparently, sun-undried tomatoes are easily distinguishably from the real thing.