Storage and Shelf Life of Chocolate

  • Store chocolate in a cool, dry place in its original wrapping or in foil.
  • Avoid the refrigerator.  Moisture and condensation are not kind to chocolate, and if not properly wrapped, chocolate can absorb refrigerator odours.
  • Milk and white chocolates will keep for about six to twelve months, whereas darker varieties can keep for one to several years.
  • Over time, white or gray “clouds” or “blooms” develop on the surface.  As long as the blooms are not too advanced, the chocolate is still edible, and the blooms will disappear upon melting.  This just means that the cocoa butter (fat) has separated.  As you can see from the photo, bloomed chocolate assumes a somewhat mottled appearance, and it sometimes also develops white or gray streaks.  The streaking is usually due to improper storage.
  • If the bloom is too advanced, then my advice is to throw it out. The texture gets too crumbly, which makes the chocolate unpleasant to eat.

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