As a rule, I am not a big fan of dried fruit. But I live in a rural area that is often susceptible to big weather issues that keep me trapped at home for days - sometimes weeks - at a time. And when I went gluten free a few months ago, I started to realize that most of the food I usually stockpile is gluten full. This has led me farther afield to experiment with shelf-stable, gluten free food stuffs that stockpile well.
Great addition to a gluten-free food stockpile
And thus: dried fruit. Dried fruit in the abstract has a lot to recommend it. It has the same fruity taste (more or less) as real fruit. It has the same amount of fiber as fresh fruit. A lot of dried fruit has some added sugar, but that isn't too worrisome in an emergency stockpile. (No one's going to begrudge you a few extra calories on the fourth day of a power outage.)
Most importantly, dried fruit has all of the fiber of the original fruit. It's hard to get fiber in a shelf stable gluten free stockpile. Most things with fiber also have gluten (including oats, which are all considered cross-contaminated with gluten unless specifically labeled otherwise).
I took a trip to the nearest bulk food department and bought a little bit of each dried fruit. Most of them I could rule out immediately. Apple chips are delicious, but surprisingly pricey at $4 for a little 3 ounce bag. I detest banana chips, so those are out. Raisins are okay, but I get sick of them quickly. Pineapple had promise, but proved to be a little bit too fibrous.
The dried papaya slices were fairly good. The ones I found were spears, and I thought they would have had a better texture if they were sliced thinner. I suppose you could slice them yourself, but that seems like a lot of work.
The surprise winner, ahead by a wide margin, was mango slices. These are tender yet toothsome, sweet but not overly sticky, with a good flavor and a great chewy texture. And cheap, too - usually around $6 per pound.
I have a thing where mango skins make my tongue numb (it's not uncommon) so I rarely eat actual mangoes, but I love the taste. So tropical! So exotic!
Granted, dried mango slices are not the greatest source of nutrition. They are high in vitamin A but little else. But if you need a good gluten free snack to add to your emergency food stockpile, or even just a delicious treat to stash in your desk at work, I highly recommend them.