When it comes to an expensive bottle of red wine, you would never keep it in your fridge among aging jars of condiments and Saturday night’s leftover pizza. A respectable bottle of wine deserves a respectable place to live. It should be properly stored in a wine fridge or cellar where it is kept at a temperature ideal for its consumption. In the case of red wine, that range falls just below room temperature.
The same goes for fine chocolate. Although there is no such thing as a chocolate fridge, fine chocolate, just like wine, has an ideal temperature for consumption. Ideally, chocolate should be enjoyed somewhere between 65-68° F (18-20° C).
This desired range is directly linked behind the science of chocolate and its ingredients, with the main culprit in this case being cacao butter. Since cacao butter is a fat, its structure becomes more brittle the cooler it gets.
When the cacao butter becomes too cold, then it restrains the aromatic comments of the bar. The flavors and smells of the chocolate are dulled.
To further understand, watch this video from our instagram where Dylan eats a chocolate bar on the freezing slopes of Canada:
Not only is the freezer too cold for chocolate storage, but the fridge is too. You should still store your chocolate in the fridge to prevent your bars from melting though. A rubbery, melted chocolate bar is difficult to enjoy and will likely result in bloom. Bloom is the process by which cocoa butter separates from cocoa solids. Essentially, bloom undoes the chocolate maker’s Tetris game—it completely restructures and jumbles up all of the fat crystals that the chocolate maker had previously aligned to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth-but-no-in-your-hand texture.
"Bloom" - The process by which cocoa butter separates from cocoa solids.
Much of enjoying the flavor of your bar comes down to the fat, and more specifically how the fat crystals are structured. Just like Goldilocks, the fat in your bar needs to be “just right” to be properly enjoyed.
Lucky for you, the proper way to enjoy a bar only takes a few minutes. When you are ready to indulge, simply take your bar out of the fridge and allow it to warm in the open air of your kitchen counter for around 5-10 minutes. That’s it. It’s simple, easy, and you don’t have to go to the store to buy anything (except for more chocolate). All you need is a little time and your bar’s temperature will fall into the the ideal range, thus allowing the fat structure of the cacao butter to “relax” so that its flavor is no longer frozen in the fat.
We invite you to test out this theory for yourself. Try half of your chocolate bar right out of the fridge while you let the other half chill on the counter. Come back for your other half in 5-10 minutes. Notice a difference?
Let us know what you think!