Tips on How to Store Chocolate
Okay, so you got your monthly Kekao Box, you took out your delicious craft chocolate bars out of the coolest subscription box, but you are not ready to start indulging just yet.
That's okay because craft chocolate is meant to be enjoyed, its no snickers bar.
After all, there is a certain way to taste chocolate, yup taste the chocolate.
So how should you store your chocolate bars? Let's break it down.
How to Store Chocolate
- Tip #1: Store it in a cool and dry place. Chocolate should be kept at a consistent temperature between 15°C to 25°C or 60°F to 70°F. During summer months or if you live in a warm climate like Arizona, keep it in an air-conditioned room or a basement/cellar. Maybe even start a chocolate cellar rather than a wine cellar. Just keep in mind chocolate will melt at body temperature which is around 37°C or 98°F.
Tip #2: If you opened one of the chocolate bars that you received in your monthly Kekao Box, and don't plan on finishing the chocolate bar right away. Then seal it in an air-tight bag. If exposed to too much air, oxygen will oxidize the chocolate bar and you may lose the full flavours and experience the chocolate has to offer.
Tip #3: Try to keep the chocolate bars in a dark place away from the light. Not just away from sunlight, as the rays will obviously melt the bars, but keep it away from artificial lighting as well. Any kind of light will cast bad flavour just as oxygen does.
Tip #4: Refrigerate chocolate only if you need to. This is rather a controversial topic among the chocolate community, here is our take on it. Ideally, chocolate should be stored in a cool and dry place as tip #1 suggests.
You should refrigerate only if you need to because, chocolate can easily absorb odors and you don't want last nights Chinese take out ruining the flavour of a delicious chocolate bar.
The moisture in the fridge may also lead to a "sugar bloom", this means the sugar in the chocolate will rise to the surface and discoloration may happen to your chocolate bar.
But sometimes you have to refrigerate chocolate. The chocolate you eat from your Kekao Box travels great distances, some times from Europe, Latin America or across North America and they are sometimes transported in refrigerated containers.
Plus summer is hot, and if you are not using your air conditioning in your house you might need to rely on your fridge. If you do decide to put it in the fridge, put your bars in an airtight bag or container to protect it against odors and condensation. When you decide to indulge in your bar, best to let the chocolate reach room temperature before unwrapping.
- Tip #5: Don't ignore best before dates. They exist for a reason, and it's to guarantee the best quality possible. If you start seeing white or greyish streaking, it's most likely fat bloom. This happens when cocoa butter becomes crystalized from exposure to extreme temperature changes. If you see a little bit of fat bloom, the chocolate should still be good to eat, but you will definitely not experience all the flavours set out by the maker.
Other things to keep in mind.
Look for freshness. Chocolate has a silky texture and it melts at body temperature. Try putting a piece of chocolate in your mouth, it melts right? If you hear a snap when you break a piece of the chocolate bar, it is usually a good indicator that the chocolate bar is still fresh and of good quality.
Try to eat your chocolate bars promptly, I know this isn't hard, but something to think of. The fresher the chocolate bar the more flavours you will experience and this is important when indulging in craft chocolate. We designed the Kekao Box to last you a month, the perfect amount to indulge but not overindulge ;).
You may also be wondering what the shelf life of your chocolate bar is.
Dark Chocolate Bars: Dark chocolate bars have a longer shelf life and most makers will have a shelf life of up to two years. This is mainly because dark bars have few other ingredients and are more or less pure. The purer the chocolate is, the longer the shelf life is and the more resistant it is to being exposed to spoil.
- Milk and White Chocolate Bars: Milk and white chocolate bars have a much shorter shelf life, and it's due to the preservation of the milk in the bar going bad. Most makers have a range of six months to a year of shelf life for their chocolate bars. You have to be more careful with these bars, as they won't stay as fresh and are more suspect to flavour and texture changes caused by temperature changes.
The most difficult part of chocolate storage is during transportation from the makers of the beautiful chocolate to your mailbox.
If you follow our 5 tips you should not worry about much, as it's simple to store and delicious to eat.
From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come up, you never know what you get inside the box!
Each month we will curate 3 to 5 premium specialty crafted chocolate bars.
Have someone who you appreciate? It also makes as a great gift!
If you want to just try a couple of bars, check out our online chocolate shop, it's a selection of what we have curated in our past boxes.
Too much chocolate? You can pause at any time!
If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box or premium specialty crafted chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.