Fine Chocolate Care Tips
Want to keep a secret stash of your gourmet chocolates fresh? Here's some fine chocolate care how-tos:
Fine dark and milk chocolate are made without preservatives and are generally meant to be consumed within 2–4 weeks, although if you store gourmet dark chocolate carefully in a dark, cool place, it can keep much longer.
- Unfilled milk and white chocolate can be kept for up to 7 or 8 months.
- Unfilled dark chocolate can keep for up to a year.
- Filled chocolates last about 2 or 3 weeks tops. Nut fillings can last a little longer. So eat up and enjoy them!
Place in an airtight container, keep the temperature around 60º–65º (humidity shouldn't be higher than 50%) to store for a long time. As chocolate absorbs surrounding odors, don't place them near your onions and make sure they are well-sealed.
If you live in a hot, humid climate and can't eat your chocolates within a day or two, you'll have to refrigerate them. If you absolutely must do this, first wrap the package in foil, then in an airtight plastic container so it doesn't pick up other food odors. Dark chocolate actually improves with age, like fine wine. Don't hesitate to set aside a few pieces for a special celebration down the line. You may even want to experiment and make notes about the taste after different periods.
When you remove them from the refrigerator, don't unwrap immediately, but allow enough time, even up to an hour, to gradually warm up to room temperature. This will prevent moisture condensation on the chocolate which creates that grayish-white "bloom." Most agree that this bloom doesn't affect the taste, however, some devoted aficionados will disagree.
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