Keep Your Chocolate Fresher, Longer
One of the questions we get asked the most? “What’s the best way to store my chocolate?” This is also usually followed by someone else saying “What?! You mean you don’t eat it all in one go?!” We’re all for downing a bar in one sitting, but most often we find ourselves with several different bars that are in various stages of (add being?) eaten. Not to worry though, there are plenty of tips and tricks for how to store your chocolate to preserve its freshness and flavor.
Some Things To Keep In Mind:
- Ideally, you want your chocolate at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. This means the best place to store chocolate is in your pantry or cupboard. Some people choose to corral their chocolate bars in a caddy or basket on their shelf, but the main goal is just to keep the chocolate somewhere cool (but not too cool! See below) and dark.
- Remember to keep the outer wrapper of your chocolate bar so you can remember what is what! Most chocolate bars have both an inner and outer wrapper. We like to keep our bars in their original packaging and fold the top of the bag down and clip with a clothespin to keep it closed.
- Do not store in the fridge or freezer, if possible! It’s a common myth that chocolate is best kept cold. Moisture is actually the death of great chocolate. Plus, your chocolate is more likely to take on the flavors of the other foods in your fridge. If you live in a warm climate and do not have A/C, the fridge is just fine but we recommend double-wrapping your bars or keeping in an airtight container. Some folks love the taste of frozen chocolate-- if this is you, get on with your bad self, no judgement here.
- Depending on the type of chocolate, the typical shelf life is around 6-12 months. But a bar can stay "fresh" for much longer than that. This is heavily dependent on whether it's stored properly, primarily with no exposure to humidity. When we do our regular internal QC tastings at our factory, we often taste bars that are 2+ years old, and many on our team love them. There's an even greater complexity in aged chocolate that can be really appealing. Note: true white chocolate can have a shorter shelf life than dark because it’s more fragile due to the high cocoa butter content-- this kind of chocolate is more temperamental to store than dark chocolate so extra effort to store properly will pay off.
- Uh oh! You left your chocolate out on the counter in the sunlight and it melted a little! What do you do? You have two options, depending on the degree to which it melted: put in the fridge to harden or put in a cupboard. The temper of the chocolate has been compromised, so the mouthfeel of the bar will be a bit off the next time you eat it; but it’s absolutely salvageable! We like to use these bars for baking later: chocolate chip cookies, cakes, etc. But a melted bar will also be perfectly fine to eat on its own later, you might just notice a slightly rougher texture on your tongue than before. Around here, all chocolate is good chocolate (well…. almost all chocolate) if you know what to do with it!