A gift of gourmet chocolates is a sweet treat that you may want to save for a special occasion. At the very least, you want to make the chocolates last, so you likely won’t enjoy them all at once. Proper storage of your chocolates ensures that they maintain their creamy texture and rich flavor so that they taste just as good whether you eat them today or next month.
Skip the Fridge
Although melting can be a real concern, you don’t want to refrigerate gourmet chocolates. The cold temperatures can harden the chocolate or the filling, especially if you have truffles or a chocolate with a ganache interior. This means that not only do you need to bring the chocolates to room temperature before enjoying them, they may also lose their creaminess and instead develop a flaky or powdery texture. The only exception to this recommendation are chocolates with perishable fillings, such as those containing some dairy products.
Watch for Heat
It’s common knowledge that heat will melt chocolates. It doesn’t have to be exceptionally warm, though. Even mild temperatures over 70 degrees, which are common in many homes, can cause chocolate to sweat and develop moisture on its surface. This will then result in a white haze once the chocolate cools back down. Although the chocolate is still safe to eat, the flavor may not be at its optimum and the candy’s appearance will suffer.
Chocolates that come in airtight packaging, such as those packaged in plastic-wrapped boxes or bags, generally don’t require any further packaging for storage. If the bag or box isn’t air and moisture proof, you must repackage the chocolates in a tightly sealed container before storage.
Optimum Storage Conditions
The best way to store chocolate is in a sealed container or box, such as the original packaging provided at purchase. Keep the chocolate in a cool, dark place, such as your pantry. Make sure you select a location that stays cooler than 70 degrees to avoid melting or hazing. Still Tasty recommends room temperature storage for no more than three weeks. If you must store it in the fridge or freezer for a longer period, they recommend no longer than three months in the fridge or six months in the freezer. When opting for these long-term storage methods, bring the chocolate to room temperature before unwrapping and serving it.
Contact a local gourmet chocolate or candy maker, like Abdallah Candies And Gifts, if you are unsure about the best way to store or serve your treats. They can give you advice targeted to the specific chocolate variety you have.