Once in a while, you must have gone through a situation where you suddenly find a bar of chocolate that somehow slipped and went in the back of the pantry. But your love chocolate is so strong that you cannot control yourself from having that one.
Well, there’s nothing wrong in eating it but before you open the wrapper of the bar, check whether you can actually eat it or not. And here’s how you can decide if your chocolate is still fresh or has gone bad.
Test 1: Check for Flat Bloom
Have you ever seen any white or grayish film on the surface of your food? Well, that actually means that your food has gone bad but in case of chocolate it is a bit different. Whenever you see that the cocoa butter fats in the chocolate split up from the cocoa mass and also rise to the surface, the end result is a flat bloom. Actually, this is something that doesn’t look much attractive but on the other side, it is quite safe to eat.
Test 2: Check for Sugar Bloom
Whenever the chocolate is kept in a humid area or it is frequently moved from the cold to hot temperatures, this results in sugar to crystallize. You’ll get a grainy and unpleasant texture on your chocolate. Again, it is not harmful to have a chocolate with sugar bloom but you won’t get the same feel while having your favorite chocolate.
Test 3: Just Smell it
One can simply smell a chocolate and tell if it is eatable or has become just a ‘throw it away’ piece. If you don’t know, chocolate is one thing that absorbs odors like a sponge does, mainly when it is kept in the refrigerator with some flavored foodstuffs.
To avoid such a situation, one should keep their chocolate tightly wrapped in a cold and dry place and also away from strongly scented food items.
Test 4: Quality and Freshness of the Chocolate
It would be much better if you consume the chocolate within a year of its production and on the other side, chocolates of high-quality can be easily eaten past its sell-by date. Do you know that just like wine becomes good with age, similarly there are some chocolates that improve with age? Natural preservatives like flavanols are present in some chocolates of high-quality. These flavanols come with superb antioxidant health benefits. Also, it keeps your chocolate eatable for a longer time than any store-bought chocolate containing artificial preservatives.
Test 5: Taste it
Take a small bite and it will instantly tell you whether you should eat it or not. See if you taste any overpowering bitterness in the chocolate or some other kind of flavors like that of garlic or onion. For your information, cocoa powder can be stored for a long time if kept in an air-tight container but can change its taste very fast if kept in the kitchen full of spices.
How can you store your chocolate to expand its shelf life?
Here are four things to keep in mind to store your chocolate for maximum shelf-life…
- Keep your chocolate in a dry and cool place and it will remain fresh for a long time.
- Or you can keep your chocolate in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, mainly in warm climates.
- Always remember that chocolate has a low-melting point, thus, you should never keep it in a warm environment for a long time.
- If you want to keep your chocolate fresh for a long-term, freeze it in an air-tight freezer safe container. But remember that freezing in a wrong way can ruin the quality of the chocolate.