It’s a reoccurring question – especially this time of year. Our customers will call us up and say “I just received a shipment, help! How do I store my truffles so they stay fresh?” or “It’s 90 degrees here, how to I keep my Five Star Bar supply from melting?”
And we say “Good question!”
Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, we monitor not only the temperature, but the humidity levels in our factory, warehouse and all of our stores to make sure the chocolate tastes just as good when it reaches the shelf, as it did right after it was made. We also have strict rules, prohibiting employees from wearing perfumes or strong-smelling shampoos, lotions, etc. Chocolate will absorb that lavender scent, and then, you get lavender-flavored chocolate. We’re adventurous, but not that adventurous.
So, while we go to great measures to monitor the environment our chocolate lives in with us, once it enters the world, it’s a little trickier to keep tabs on all of our bars, squares and handcrafted delights. We have some golden rules for you to follow when storing your chocolate at home.
Rule #1: Don’t put your chocolate in the refrigerator. Please. Like absorbing perfume, chocolate will absorb the odors of your fridge. Such as that leftover Chinese food. No one wants General Tso’s Chocolate. The fridge is also very humid. Humidity will cause bloom on chocolate – the white haze that can affect the appearance of chocolate. Let’s steer clear of that too.
Rule #2: Don’t put your chocolate in a pantry with lots of grains or fruits that will draw pests. Moths like chocolate just like they like old cereal and boxes of rice.
Rule #3: Don’t put your chocolate near a heat source. Like on top of the freezer, near a kitchen light or on a sunny window sill. Because we use pure cocoa butter to make our chocolate smooth and creamy, it will begin to melt at about 68 degrees. And while I’m talking numbers, the ideal humidity level is between 45%-55%.
Where can I store my chocolate? How about in a cool, dark cupboard. I keep my stash tucked in a deep serving bowl in a cabinet that only houses plates and bowls only – no food. It’s away from odors, not humid (and hidden for those times where a covert indulgence is a necessity). Or in the freezer? We recommend putting chocolate in an air-tight container before tucking it away next to the ice cream and frozen peas. Just bring it to room temperature in that container before you open it.
Here you go! A few simple rules to follow and you can make sure your Lake Champlain Chocolates stash stays as fresh and tasty as it did when you received it.