Probably the most common question we’re asked is “How do I store my chocolate once I get it?” When stored properly, chocolate is more resilient than you might expect.
Chocolate is best kept in a dry, dark environment, preferably at a temperature between 60°-70°F. This method of storage will minimize fat bloom, which is the process of the chocolate’s cocoa butter separating and rising to the surface. Ever seen that grayish-white coating on the surface of a chocolate bar? Yup, you’re staring at fat bloom.
Refrigeration and freezing of chocolate is not recommended but can be utilized if necessary due to the lack of a temperature controlled storage setting. Refrigeration or freezing of chocolate should be done in an airtight container to prevent condensation from affecting the chocolate. This can create another condition known as sugar bloom. When condensation forms on the surface of chocolate, its sugar absorbs and disperses the moisture. This causes the sugar to form larger crystals leaving a dull and brittle texture to the chocolate’s surface.
Always allow refrigerated or frozen chocolate to come to room temperature in the unopened container before eating. Cold chocolate masks the many flavor notes that make chocolate such a gratifying taste experience.
Care should also be taken to store chocolate away from ares with strong odors. Chocolate is very absorbent and will take on surrounding smells, negatively affecting its taste. Anyone wanna eat a piece of Belgian single-origin 70% dark that’s been stored in a room filled with cigar smoke? Yuck.
Stored properly, milk chocolate has a one-year shelf life and dark chocolate may be stored for up to two years. An exception is chocolate with perishable centers such as truffles or bonbons which generally should be consumed within two months.
While a little powdery-white fat bloom on your chocolate won’t affect its taste…there’s nothing quite like a shiny piece of fine chocolate with that irresistible snap. Just a bit of thought into where to store your chocolate will pay big rewards.