We’ve probably all been guilty at some point of putting our chocolate in the refrigerator. Or (gasp) the freezer. However, that practice can wreak havoc on your chocolate stash. So what’s a chocolate-lover to do during the blazing hot summer? Here’s some pro tips.
Keep your stash lean
The fresher the chocolate, the better it tastes. This might seem obvious, but it never hurts to be reminded. Curb the urge to stockpile chocolate. You should really only buy chocolate in amounts that you’re likely to consume in a short period of time. And before tossing that chocolate in your shopping cart, take a moment to check the Enjoy By date.
Know chocolate’s adversaries
Meet chocolate’s archenemies: heat and humidity. To protect chocolate’s texture, flavor, and appearance, store it at a constant 65-68°F, and at low humidity. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity (like when taken in and out of the refrigerator) create the perfect storm to produce the dreaded…chocolate bloom.
Chocolate bloom is the visual accumulation of sugar crystals on the bar’s surface – caused when the chocolate is subjected to temperature and/or humidity fluctuations. While safe to consume, bloom adversely affects the appearance, taste and texture of chocolate.
Here are photos from our customer files, showing what can happen when chocolate is subjected to wild and crazy conditions. Some may find these images disturbing. I certainly do!
But if you must chill…
I get it. Summer is here and it is HOT, inside and out. As a rule, storing chocolate in the fridge or freezer is a bad idea. But as with any rule, there are exceptions. If you don’t have access to a cool- low-humidity storage spot, here’s the best way to chill chocolate…
Before placing in the fridge, make sure it is tightly wrapped to prevent it from picking up odors or condensation. And when you remove it from the fridge, insulate the still-wrapped chocolate in a dish towel to help it come back to room temperature slowly before unwrapping.
Of course, all this is a moot point if, like me, your chocolate doesn’t last in your house more than a day or two.
What questions do you have regarding chocolate? Leave a reply below and I’ll do my best to address them in a future post.