Storage And Care of Chocolate
Chocolate should be wrapped tightly and kept in a cool, dry place with a temperature ranging from 60–75°F.
If the storage temperature exceeds 75°F, some of the cocoa butter may appear on the surface, causing the chocolate to develop a whitish cast, known as "bloom." The chocolate will still be fine to eat.
In hot climates or during the summer, chocolate can be stored in the refrigerator, although this isn't ideal as the chocolate may absorb odors from other foods. Dark chocolate actually improves with age, like a fine wine, if stored in an airtight container at 60–65°F.
Blooming of chocolate products is the most common problem you will encounter in the world of chocolate. There are two forms of "bloom": fat bloom and sugar bloom.
- Fat bloom is the visible accumulation of large cocoa butter crystals on the chocolate surface. It is often accompanied by numerous minute cracks that dull the appearance of the chocolate.
- Sugar bloom is a crystallization of sugar that is often caused by high humidity and the formation of condensate ("sweating") when cold product is brought into a warm area.
To differentiate between fat and sugar blooms, fat bloom will feel oily and melt when touched, while sugar bloom will feel grainy to the touch.
Poor storage conditions cause fat bloom. To prevent bloom, it is important not to expose chocolate to wide fluctuations in temperature; instead, make all temperature changes gradually. Although it may look unpleasant, bloomed chocolate is fine to eat.