Chocolate is one of life’s luxuries that should be enjoyed at its absolute best. While for some of us it may be impossible to put aside a box or bar of chocolates to eat slowly as a treat, others have more willpower!
Regardless of whether you are stashing your carefully selected chocolate away for an hour or two, or want to keep it for longer, it is important that you know how to store it correctly.
After all, it would be heart breaking for good chocolate to go to waste!
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to. We will talk you through the process to store chocolate, so when it’s time to indulge, you get the full flavour and texture that the artisanal creators intended.
Does Chocolate Go Bad?
First things first: you will be pleased to know that technically, chocolate in itself doesn’t go “off.” If stored correctly, it can last years.
However, it can undergo some changes to the taste or texture that make it less delectable if not stored correctly.
The exception to this rule is if your chocolate has inclusions or is of the truffle variety. In which case, you need to take extra care when storing it and may need to consume it more quickly than regular varieties.
How Long Does Chocolate Last?
Stashed away correctly, dark chocolate can last up to two years, while milk chocolate will be good for around one year. Both varieties can last double this time if kept in the fridge or freezer, but there will be some unpleasant side effects, which we outline below.
Truffles and chocolate with fillings have a much shorter shelf life. You only have a few months to scoff them if you keep them in the pantry. Always pay attention to the best before labels so that you can enjoy your chocolates when they are at their best.
How To Store Chocolate
Good quality chocolate, without preservatives or nasties, is temperamental and needs to be stored with care.
The ideal storage temperature is between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. As we well know, chocolate has a low melting point, so anything warmer than that will compromise the texture and quality.
Put your chocolatey treats into a dark, cool, dry cupboard to help retain their delicious qualities.
If you have already opened your chocolate, it is best to store it in an airtight container. This is because cocoa butter has the annoying habit of absorbing odours and flavours from the surrounding environment and can attract pests like ants.
The reason we recommend storing your chocolate in a dark place is that light (both natural and artificial) can oxidise chocolate over time. This strips away some of the rich flavours and changes the texture.
Can I Store Chocolate In The Fridge?
Generally, it is better to stick to the temperatures described above. But if it is too hot or there is no suitable storage spot, you can keep chocolate in the fridge.
Keep in mind that refrigerating chocolate is likely to cause the flavours to become dull over time. Your precious chocolate will also likely experience “sugar bloom.” This is when a white film appears on the surface. It is caused by increased moisture, which brings sugar crystals to the surface. But don’t fret, the whitening is only cosmetic and won’t impact the texture.
To help prevent this from happening, store your chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge. If possible, leave the chocolate out at room temperature before eating, to allow it to develop those full flavours again.
Can I Freeze Chocolate?
Again, it is possible to freeze your chocolate, but it is better to store it in other ways. But, if you are in it for the long haul, you can pop your chocolates in the freezer. Make sure they are in airtight containers and be prepared for some texture and flavour changes long term.
There are a number of ways you can protect your chocolate from the light and the heat. The ideal way to store it is in a cool, dark place between 18 and 20 degrees celsius. But if you have no other options, then you can refrigerate it. However, if you do, be prepared for some changes in flavour and appearance!
Luckily, the chocolates in our Chocolate Tour subscription boxes are so yummy that they won’t hang around for long! Check out the range in store.