Ya, i think you are very right in saying not one word in mandarin translates cured. Truthfully, in english it can be a broad term as well. But in english it is easy to say it like: cured _________ be it meat, cheese, plant etc. The process becomes clear based on the noun used. But in chinese this doent work well. At least for some things.
Hence the examples of vanilla beans and tamarind fruit. Good examples we have not been able to figure out. Cheese and that has a clear word but so far cannot find one for these 2 specifically. There are many such fruits that are more obscure, but many peoppe know these 2. Although the chinese word for vanilla is itself not at all specific.
So lets use vanilla as the first example.
I dont think these work
蜜餞 implies adding sugar to the aging process. Candied.
(芒果, any fruit)乾 literally means dried. In practice it means partially dried. With or withou preservative (acids, sugars or salts). But basiclly mens a dry fruit. I think this is posaible to label for tamarind but not vanilla. But the main difference ia mango is not cured. At all. Ever. Its just dried a certain way. Whereas say tamarind and vanilla are both cured for months then adjusted for moisture content, “dried”.
陳 seems like a good candidate. I will ask the wife to type the chinese of our closest guess but it still seems off in the way it is processed.
Sorry my phone only has alphabet style, cant draw the characters and thats the inly way i can write. So will write the characters after christmas. But we keep running around in more or less these categories: