May I freeze chocolate?
Yes. Ready your chocolate for freezing by first wrapping it in freezer paper. Then use two plastic bags to seal the package.
How do I defrost chocolate that is frozen?
Bring the chocolate to room temperature before opening the package. This will eliminate condensation.
Should I store chocolate in my refrigerator?
A cool and dry space in your house is a better place to store chocolate. The refrigerator is a high humidity environment. Additionally, chocolate if not well wrapped, may take on the flavor of other food stored in the refrigerator.
What temperature is best for chocolate storage?
The best temperature for chocolate storage is under 50 degrees. The best humidity level is under 50%.
The Source of Chocolate
Chocolate is grown in tropical regions of the world. Twenty degrees latitude north and twenty degrees latitude south of the equator is known as the cocoa belt. The constant warmth of this regional climate is the perfect environment for cacao trees to thrive. It is from the bean of these tropical plants that chocolate is derived.
The countries that are the leaders in cocoa bean production are as follows:
Ivory Coast, Africa
Brazil, South America
Malaysia, Southeast Asia
Cacao vs Cocoa
Because of a mistake in spelling, probably made by English importers many years ago, beans from the cacao tree became known as cocoa beans in English speaking countries. This causes many people to think that the beans come from the coconut palm tree instead of the cacao tree.
Chocolate is the most romanticized food in the world. It has a reputation of being an aphrodisiac, a mood enhancer, an addiction. For the ever hopeful, chocolate has been touted as an antioxidant, tooth decay retardant, diet food, and the key to longevity.
There is no doubt a bit of truth and a bit of hopefulness in all of the claims made upon chocolate. But here are a few indisputable facts:
Chocolate is a plant food. It contains naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
The sweetness of chocolate comes from the addition of sugar. Before sugar trading, the Aztecs drank a bitter mixture called Xocolatl. Crushed cocoa beans were used as the main ingredient.
The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature. This why chocolate literally melts in your mouth. Yum!
Chocolate is the most widely accepted and sought after flavor in our country. It outpaces any other flavor by a 3 to 1 margin.
Shop with Care
We often see melted chocolate presented for purchase at the checkout. Especially susceptible are chocolate bars and other bagged chocolate items (potato chips, malt balls, molded items etc) that are easily held in our 98.6° hands. Chocolate begins to melt at 70°.
To protect your chocolate purchase as you shop:
Pick up a shopping basket near the entrance door.
Claim a spot on the counter to lay your purchases while you continue to browse.
Ask a staff member to safe-keep your chocolate items until you are ready to check out.
Eat your chocolate quicker than it can melt.