…NOT IN THE FRIDGE!
With the recent high temperatures and with storage space at a premium it is easy to forget the importance of storing your chocolate correctly in a dry larder… NOT in a fridge!
One mistake people often make is to store chocolate in a fridge thinking it will protect the chocolate. Infact fridges are very humid and there is a risk that condensation will form on the chocolate, altering the appearance and texture and giving rise to “sugar bloom”.
There are actually two forms of chocolate ‘bloom’, one from fat and the other from sugar.
Have you ever bought a bar of chocolate in a shop and opened it only to find grey-ish streaks across the surface?
Or noticed something that looked like dust?
Fat ‘bloom’ happens with temperature fluctuation and when chocolate gets too warm.
The cocoa butter melts and then re-solidifies, leaving those grey streaks and grey-white discolouration.
Sugar ‘bloom’ happens if the chocolate is stored in a damp area.
Moisture collects on the surface of the chocolate and draws out the sugar. When the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind a grit of sugar crystals across the surface.
Sugar ‘bloom’ can occur when chocolate is stored in a fridge or damp area.
(Actually chocolate ‘bloom’ is perfectly consumable and doesn’t affect flavour, so if you find your chocolate has ‘bloomed’ it is still fine to eat… but customers may be put off by the appearance!)
FLAVOUR & TASTE
Another problem is that the moist fridge environment and storage of other products alongside the chocolate can also lead to the chocolate absorbing odours and tastes from other foodstuffs and even to mould forming on the chocolate.
It is also worth remembering that cold chocolate doesn’t have the same taste, it doesn’t melt so easily when consumed and the flavour isn’t dispersed in the same way, so chocolate is best eaten at room temperature.
HOW TO STORE YOUR CHOCOLATE
Chocolate should be kept away from direct sunlight and moisture, somewhere cool and dry, ideally around 15-19°C, such as a cool part of your kitchen or stores (like a low shelf or cupboard).
Of course this can be a challenge in a hot environment, especially during the warmer, muggy Summer months, but storing your boxes of milk and/or dark chocolate appropriately should help ensure your chocolate continues to look good and taste great for up to 12 months.
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