August 1, 2006
Here's another somewhat fun question:
What is the longest period of time any of you have stored chocolate before finally using/eating it? I kept my Slitti 100% for almost a year before eating it. Actually, I still have a Valrhona Le Lacte bar from last May that I totally forgot about hah. Maybe I should see if it's still good.
April 29, 2004
August 1, 2006
Chocolate lasts for a certain amount of time, as most food items do, and the expiration dates simply refer to the best times for its consumption. I've eaten "expired" chocolate, and it tasted fine. However, over too much time, chocolate will lose all the complex flavor nuances due to oxidation, odor absorption, and other factors. It's just better to eat it before the expiration date but don't think its integrity and quality will suddenly diminish after it passes an arbitrary date printed on the back of the wrapper. If stored properly, then chocolate will last quite a long time, but I necessarily agree that it gets better with age. After all, there is fat in chocolate, and fat has a tendency to go rancid if not treated properly.
July 31, 2006
Many chocolate makers will tell you that a 'fresh' bar is best, and this is certainly what they would want to be judged by.
I think the maximum life for a dark must be about a year and a half, if the storage is good.
May 16, 2004
Any chocolate I have for longer than a year inevitably "dies" of fat bloom, since I haven't found a good home storage solution yet. This usually happens to bars that I've been putting off eating until I've written down tasting notes on them, since usually when I'm craving chocolate I'm not in an analytical mood. Once they're bloomed, of course, they're completely worthless as a tasting chocolate - not only is the texture ruined, but the nuances of flavor seem to disappear too. I recently ended up consolidating all my bloomed chocolate into a few bags, sorted roughly by percentage, without even distinguishing between the Domori and the Hachez. But it's not a waste; it makes a great base for potent hot chocolate.