Are you a person who found a chocolate bar in one of your drawers? You want to eat it, but you are unsure if it’s still good or not because it has been lying there for a long time unnoticed? I am here to tell you that it might still be edible.
But you need to check a few things first. Let us begin!
How to Tell If Chocolate Has Gone Bad?
Chocolate as a product is somewhat resistant to rotting and spoiling. Chocolate can be safe to eat years past its expiration date, but its quality won’t be the same. Yes, you may find discoloration of sorts. This discoloration happens because of Fat Bloom and Sugar Bloom.
Don’t eat the chocolate if you see any of these signs.
- Mold or fungus growth
- Maggots or insects.
- Bad or off smell.
Fat Bloom in Chocolate
It is because of fat bloom if you see chalky white streaks, dust, or chalky discoloration on your chocolate. Fat bloom occurs in chocolate when it experiences inconsistent changes in temperature. This includes any sort of heat and temperature changes.
Sugar Bloom in Chocolate
If you see gritty or grainy particles in your chocolate, it is because of sugar bloom. Sugar bloom occurs when chocolate is exposed to moisture and humidity. This results in sugar crystal formation in the chocolate and a reduction in quality.
Note: Any bloomed chocolate is good to eat. However, it will not have the same texture, taste, and flavor as unbloomed or fresh chocolate.
Tip : Instead of eating bloomed chocolate directly, bake or cook with it.
Never give chocolate to dogs; in general, avoid giving chocolate to your pets.
Now that you know how to tell if your chocolate has gone bad, let’s see how you can store chocolate for longer periods and extend your shelf life.
How Can You Store Chocolate?
Chocolate can be stored easily with or without a fridge, even after opening it.
Storing Unopened Chocolate
Unopened chocolates can be stored both inside and outside the fridge. If you don’t wish to refrigerate or freeze the chocolate, you can simply place it in a cool and dark corner in your kitchen or pantry for anywhere from 3 months to even a year or more, depending on the chocolate type and ingredients.
Storing Opened Chocolate
Opened chocolates can be kept both inside and outside the fridge. But to extend its shelf life, you should refrigerate it or freeze it in the freezer. Make sure to wrap it in clingfilm or keep it inside an airtight container.
Tip 1 : Always store chocolate with ingredients like nuts, raisins, etc. inside the fridge if possible.
Tip 2 : Freezing chocolate ruins its texture and consistency, so it’s best to use it for baking and cooking.
How Long Does Chocolate Last?
Chocolates rarely go bad. They can be consumed after the expiration date and best-by date. Depending on the type of chocolate, they have a varying shelf life.
Milk Chocolate: 3-6 months past best by or expiry date.
White chocolate: 3-4months past best by or expiry date.
Dark chocolate: About a year or two past best by or expiry date.
White chocolate lasts the least time, as dairy and cocoa butter is one of its main ingredients. Milk chocolate is second because it contains dairy products. Dark chocolate has the longest shelf life as it is mostly chocolate, and chocolate naturally is somewhat resistant to spoiling.
Chocolate with added ingredients like fruits or nuts has an unreliable shelf life as nuts, fruits, and seeds have variable shelf lives.
How long can molded chocolate be stored?
At room temperature, it can last for six weeks.
How to store chocolate-covered strawberries?
They must be refrigerated and can last for 2-7days depending on the condition of the strawberries.
What is the optimal temperature for storing chocolates?
60 degrees F to -75 degrees F after opening it. 0 degrees inside the freezer to store them for as long as you want.
What can I do with bloomed chocolate?
You should use it to cook or bake; some examples are Mole sauce, Hot Chocolate, Molten lava cake, etc.
Should I refrigerate chocolate?
Ideally, chocolate shouldn’t be refrigerated.
Let’s be honest here. No way in any household can chocolate remains untouched. If you are a chocolate lover, it shouldn’t take you any time to go through the chocolate. At max, we need to store chocolate for a week.
So chances are you will not need to store chocolate at all, but if, in any rare scenario, you need to store it and preserve it for a long time, then I hope the information and tips I have provided will prove useful. Till next time! (Also, remember to brush your teeth after eating chocolate).