Do hoarding tendencies get the best of you during an emergency? With the spread of fear and the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19) so many people are in panic mode buying and hoarding cleaning products, toilet paper, and a surplus of food. Seeing someone walk off with 5 gallons of milk makes me wonder, can they really use up all their perishables before they expire?
Food storage is a smart idea and doesn’t have to be a daunting task. I do this on a much smaller scale, if the bag of chocolate chips on my shopping list happens to be on sale at the store, then I buy one or two extra bags to keep on hand. This extra food builds up over time resulting in... Food Storage!
I happen to live in a small apartment, so my food storage is very limited. The small amount of storage that I do have is mostly cleared out to make room for all my chocolate storage and chocolate art projects. I like to keep a couple hundred pounds of chocolate on hand, so it’s important that I label my chocolate products with dates and rotate them accordingly. If you hoard chocolate like I do, then here is what you need to know to help your chocolate extend its shelf life and maintain its quality.
Tips for storing chocolate
Keep It Cool- Chocolate should be kept at a consistent temperature below 70°F with humidity below 55°F Lowering the temperature increases your chocolates’ shelf life, but going too cold can lead to unwanted discoloration called chocolate bloom.
Keep It Sealed- Chocolate absorbs odors. Think of old Halloween candy that starts tasting like the surrounding candies. Chocolate does this as well, it’s best to keep your chocolate away from other aromas and stored in an air-tight container.
Keep It Dark- Light can compromise chocolate’s flavor. It’s best to keep chocolate in an opaque wrapper or container.
How long can you store chocolate for?
Chocolate shelf life varies depending on what type of chocolate and the ingredients used to make it. Additives such as sugar and milk tend to shorten the shelf life of chocolate.
Note: For Best Quality Chocolate, it should never be stored in the fridge or freezer, but since you’re going to do it anyway, here we go:
Things to consider when storing chocolate in the Fridge or Freezer:
-Moisture from the fridge can lead to sugar bloom, this process is when sugar is drawn to the surface and discolors the chocolate.
-Different from sugar bloom is fat bloom, this happens when the temperature fluctuates enough to bring the chocolate out of its tempered state. Both aren’t so pretty, but still just as edible.
- The slower you let chocolate come to room temperature, the lower the chance of condensation forming. Move chocolate from the freezer to the fridge, then from the fridge to room temperature. If condensation builds up on your chocolate container, wait for the condensation to dissipate fully before opening the container.
-Eat chocolate, especially truffles and bonbons, at room temperature for a more palatable experience.