Chocolate has been estimated to be around 2000 years old, and there’s evidence that people have been devouring it as early as 1900 B.C. (no wonder!)
In 1502, chocolate was first introduced to Europe, and everyone went crazy for its delicious taste and lush texture.
However, unlike back then, we can get our hands on chocolate much easier, and it’s definitely not as expensive!
In this article, we’ll run down how to tell if chocolate has gone bad, how to store the chocolate, how long chocolate lasts, and even the types.
Want to know the answer now? Chocolate has gone bad (or at least bad enough not to eat) when its taste is rancid, or there’s an awful bitterness.
You’d be right to store your chocolate in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or cupboard, at a consistent temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on the type of chocolate, doing this can make it last from 2 months to 4 years!
Or, you could freeze your chocolate for up to 18 months to enjoy it at its finest quality.
Help! Has My Chocolate Gone Bad?
Like a lot of food, chocolate degrades in quality before it goes completely bad.
Usually, the taste of the chocolate is a safe test to see if it’s still edible. Have a little bite at your chocolate – if there is any remaining bitterness, you know it’s time to chuck it.
Have a quick look at your chocolate. Can you see any cracks or dots littering its surface? If so, your chocolate has most likely gone stale. For sure, it’s still edible, but we recommend using the chocolate as soon as possible.
But there’s something you don’t understand: what are those white specs on my chocolate?
This will most likely look like a white film, and no, rest assured, it doesn’t mean your chocolate has gone bad.
It happens when moisture comes in contact with your chocolate. This dissolves the sugar on the chocolates surface, and a white powder remains, otherwise known as bloom.
Chocolate poisoning can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased urination, tremors, elevated or abnormal heart rate, and seizures. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult your local doctor.
How To Store Chocolate
Like many foods, there are many types of chocolate: milk, dark, semi-sweet, tempered, white, raw, and ruby.
However, regarding storage methods, any kind of chocolate needs the same thing.
Store chocolate in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard or pantry. Sunlight is the arch-nemesis of chocolate, so keep it away at all times.
The optimum temperature would be consistently below 70F.
Remember that cocoa butter takes in the smell of anything it’s put around, so we recommend sealing any chocolate out of its packaging in an airtight container.
Oxygen oxidizes chocolate which causes a putrid taste to develop. That’s called rancidification.
A common misconception is that chocolate can be kept in the refrigerator. Be warned: do not do this.
Chocolate easily absorbs the odors of whatever’s around it, and you certainly don’t want your chocolate’s complex flavors to be soiled by the leftover Camembert.
Moisture in the fridge also leads to the sugar bloom, making your delicious chocolate look less than appetizing.
During the summer, you may have no choice but to put your chocolate in the fridge, but don’t worry, we have you covered.
Before you put your chocolate into the fridge, tightly wrap it in cling film or place it in a plastic bag. Then, seal it in an airtight container.
This will prevent any condensation or odors that may attack your scrumptious chocolate.
Types Of Chocolate
Okay, so you’re unsure of how long your chocolate will last in the pantry. Well, this actually depends on what kind of chocolate you have.
- Dark chocolate keeps for nearly two years
- White chocolate keeps for around four months
- Milk chocolate can keep for a solid year
The higher the milk content, the faster the expiration. Milk chocolate has the highest amount of dairy, so its shelf life is a little shorter in comparison to dark or bitter chocolate.
If you want any of your chocolates to keep longer, just pop them in an airtight container, and into the freezer it goes!
The freezer can be your trusty steed if you want your chocolate to keep for a duration of six months to one whole year.
The Truth About Chocolate
So, does chocolate go off? The answer is yes, it does.
But there are many ways to preserve and prevent quick spoilage of your chocolates.
This could be putting your chocolate in the cupboard or pantry, or for a longer-term solution, into the freezer. If it’s summer, perhaps put the chocolate in the fridge.
But remember: the fridge is the last option!
By doing this, your chocolate can keep for up to 2 years!