So you bought chocolate (yay!) and if you have the self control to not eat it all at once or you are giving it as a gift, you may wonder how best to store it. In order to enjoy it at its freshest and most delicious, follow these tips from our chocolatiers:
- Keep the chocolate cool but not cold (60's to low 70’s) and in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat, chocolate is best served in mid-70’s.
- Like vampires, chocolate does not like sunlight.
- Try not to store your chocolate in the refrigerator unless the room is very warm (80’s or higher.) If that is the case, put it in an airtight container and make sure it is not too odorous in the fridge since chocolate absorbs flavors very easily. When removing it from the fridge to eat, keep the chocolate in the airtight container until it comes to room temperature to avoid condensation. Condensation doesn’t effect the flavor, but it will effect the appearance.
- You can store chocolate in the freezer for about 3 months max as long as it is secured in airtight wrapping. When you are ready to eat, transition the chocolate to the refrigerator for a day, and then to room temperature. Condensation can be avoided if it is kept wrapped until it reaches room temperature.
- If you are packing up chocolate for a friend, use anything that provides an airtight wrap. We usually choose a Ziploc bag or saran wrap, but not foil.
- Solid dark chocolates last the longest and if kept properly can last up to 6 months comfortably. Solid Milk and white chocolate lasts a little less.
- Solid bars that have inclusions or mix ins that are non-nut will last longer than nut based (nuts actually get old and rancid much sooner than chocolate.) Anything with a cream or butter ganache like truffles/bonbons has a shorter shelf life, anywhere from between 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the recipe. Caramels and sugar-based chocolates/confections last longer than truffles and ganaches, but not nearly as long as solids. Sipping chocolate lasts a very long time as well.
- You can vacuum seal chocolate to help keep it longer. Just make sure to package it in a hard container. If you have a more fragile chocolate like a bonbon, the vacuum seal can crush the bonbons. And yes, we’ve done that…
- Not infrequently, we’ll taste bonbons at the kitchen and bits will be left over the following days. We would probably cut it and eat it vs. biting and leaving. Again, air tight wrap will keep it best.
Our best advice? Eat chocolate when you get it. It will always taste best fresh!