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Are you hesitant to put your chocolate in the freezer? Maybe you've seen chocolates turning white when stored in the freezer. Would it affect the chocolate's taste? That's what we asked the experts and here's what we learned from them.
Regular chocolate freezes well so you can keep it in the freezer to extend its shelf life. Their ingredients such as cocoa butter, milk, and sugar also do well in the freezer. If stored properly, it can last up to 18 months without changing its taste and other qualities.
Please continue reading to know more about what happens to chocolate when you freeze it. We'll also tell you how to freeze chocolates properly. This article will also answer if chocolate tastes better when stored in the fridge or kept warm. Let's begin with this mouth-watering topic!
Can you freeze chocolate?
You're looking forward to chocolate sale season because it's time to hoard your favorites! After all, these goodies aren't just desserts or sweet treats, they are the perfect pick-me-ups whenever you're feeling down.
Chocolates are also nutritious. They are rich in iron, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and other minerals.
They are a very good source of antioxidants and have other health benefits such as improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, and improving brain functions.
This only goes to show that having chocolates on stock is a very good idea indeed! But how can you preserve their quality so that they would still taste the same when it's time to eat them?
It would defeat the purpose of storing chocolates when you can’t enjoy them in their original quality. Why store them at all? It would be a waste of money and good food, right?
Eating chocolate is a whole experience in itself – from the texture to the aroma, appearance, and taste. You wouldn't want to miss out on any of those factors.
Good thing, chocolate is one of the foods that do well in the freezer. This is your best option to preserve its quality, including its taste, for a long time.
Ideal Storage Conditions for Chocolate
Chocolate will melt as the temperature gets warmer. Chocolatiers say that the ideal storage temperatures should consistently range only between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
There's also the condition that relative humidity inside your home should be kept below 55%.
Given these optimal conditions, chocolate can last for six to nine months even after you've opened it.
But the truth is, we have fluctuating room temperatures and humidity levels inside our homes, especially with the changing of the seasons.
That's why it is best to store chocolates in a place with a relatively constant temperature so you can maintain their great quality for a longer period.
Experts say that keeping these treats in the freezer will extend their shelf life by up to 50% or about 18 months. Meanwhile, keeping them in the fridge would help preserve their quality by up to 25% of their expected shelf life.
This is good news indeed, especially for chocolate hoarders who want to stock up on these treats when there's a great deal on the market.
Taste and Texture Preserved
If you're concerned about the taste, experts say that the entire quality is preserved so this means that you can expect it to taste the same when you eat it.
Some even say that chocolates taste even better coming from the freezer. They say it's because it gives you time to savor each bite. You do not need to rush the eating experience since you have to wait a while for it to thaw in your mouth.
You get to enjoy the full flavor of the chocolate before you delve into another bite. In this sense, you have a better sensory adventure.
However, note that this is only applicable for regular commercially-made chocolates.
They only contain cocoa, cocoa butter, milk, and sugar depending if its milk, dark, white, or ruby chocolate. Each of these components freezes well individually as well so they won’t react differently when put in the freezer.
On the other hand, premium handmade or gourmet chocolates and chocolate truffles may not do as well in cold storage. They may contain other ingredients that may not freeze well such as icing.
They also have a shorter shelf life than regular chocolates. Check the product label for storage instructions.
What is the best way to freeze chocolate?
The proper way of freezing chocolate would depend if it is already opened or not.
For unopened chocolate, retain it in its original packaging. You can also put it inside a freezer bag for additional protection against moisture and other odors but make sure you remove excess air before sealing the bag.
When freezing chocolate that has already been opened, wrap it first in aluminum foil. You can use the original foil it came in if you still have it.
Then place it inside a freezer bag. Again, remove as much excess air as possible before you seal the bag. It would also be helpful to put a label on the bags as well as the date of storage.
Now that you've put your chocolate in a properly-sealed container, the next step is to put it inside the fridge for a few hours.
This would acclimatize the chocolate to prevent crystallization of the butter and fat or else they’ll form white spots that you often see on the surface of frozen chocolates.
After a few hours have passed, that's the time when you can put the chocolate inside the freezer.
That's how you freeze chocolate properly. By ensuring that it is stored in the right packaging, you can keep off the air, moisture, flavors, and other odors inside the freezer from affecting its quality.
When you want to eat frozen chocolate, it’s best to thaw it first in the fridge rather than immediately taking it out of the freezer to reduce a thermal shock that could affect its texture and appearance.
Does chocolate taste better in the fridge?
Some people prefer to keep their chocolate stocks in the fridge. This is also okay. As mentioned earlier, it'll extend the chocolates' shelf life by 25% or up to nine months.
But still, you should be mindful of how you store them. They should be well-packed in their original packaging or air-tight containers to prevent them from absorbing the different odors and flavors inside your fridge.
Sealing them also protects them from cold temperatures. Otherwise, you would notice that some portions of your chocolates would turn white.
When the chocolates turn white, somehow they become less appetizing. People might even think that those goodies have gone bad already.
But in reality, those white spots are just a result of "fat bloom". This is what happens when the fat particles that make up the chocolate separate because of the cold temperature. It can also happen in hot temperatures.
When there are extreme temperatures, the fats separate and some make their way to the top or exterior portion of the chocolate.
This explains why chocolate turns white in the fridge or freezer especially when it is not properly packed and stored.
But don't worry, because those white spots won't necessarily affect the taste of chocolate. It is still safe to eat although the texture and appearance aren't the same anymore.
Why does warm chocolate taste better?
On the other hand, some people prefer storing chocolates at room temperature. They even say that eating warm chocolates gives them a better eating experience.
Science has an explanation for this. Experts say that at room temperature, chocolate has a stronger aroma. That's why it tastes better when you eat this treat that easily melts in your mouth.
It's not just the sweet taste but also the appetizing smell that affects your whole eating experience. Thus, you're better able to enjoy eating this goodie that delights your senses.
In the end, it's really a matter of personal preference. You may want your chocolate cold from the freezer or warm enough at room temperature. It’s your choice and your own sensory experience that matter.
As long as you know how to freeze and thaw chocolates properly, freezing won’t change their quality including their taste. You can expect them to last for 18 months so you get to enjoy your sweet treats for a long time.
For more tips on freezing your chocolate goodies, feel free to visit the following posts: