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Of the Brits to have ever tried chocolate, eight in ten have it at least once a week, with a third eating it at least once a day. But how you store chocolate can affect the way it tastes.
Research has found chocolate is the favourite snack of Brits, with almost half of respondents picking it as their top choice (46 percent) – with crisps (13 percent), cake (nine percent) and cheese (five percent) following by some distance.
Despite chocolate’s popularity, there is great confusion as to how it should be stored.
Results showed a third (34 percent) store it in the fridge, around one in three (30 percent) store it out of the fridge and almost a third (29 percent) sit on the fence, flittering between storing it in and out of the fridge.
The confusion over where it should be stored is based on its taste and texture.
Angela Beckett, product development manager at NOMO who carried out the research said: “The temperature of chocolate has a huge impact on the texture and the flavour delivery – more than you might expect.
“The aromatic cocoa notes are more apparent at higher temperatures, so if you want to appreciate the depth of flavours it should be stored outside of the fridge in a cool, dark place.
“Around 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is the goldilocks zone for chocolate – it’s not too hot that it’s melting but not too cold that it loses its flavour.”
Chocolate should also be kept away from any sources of heat, as this can melt chocolate, or cause it to bloom.
It should also be stored away from any strong odours, as they can taint the flavour.
Experts also suggest that once a bar is opened and not finished, wrap it in foil, or wrap it back in the bag or pack it came in if resealable.
As for how long chocolate lasts, if you’re someone who doesn’t devour the bar in one go, it can last for a few months past its best-before date.
That date is only a rough estimate, and chocolate most often lasts much longer. That’s because of the flavonoids that keep the oxidation of fats from occurring.
Dark chocolate retains quality for the longest, even up to a year past the date on the label.
Milk chocolate is second with up to six months, and white chocolate third with only a couple of months.
When it comes to various chocolate products, such as chocolate biscuit bars like Kit Kat or Twix, and others, their shelf life depends on ingredients other than chocolate. That’s because chocolate is usually the least perishable ingredient on the list.
NOMO’s top tips when eating chocolate:
1. Measure the milk: For milk chocolate, the type and amount of dairy or dairy alternatives affect the flavour of the chocolate. Typically, the more milk or plant-based milk the smoother, creamier and sweeter the chocolate is. So, depending on your own tastes you may prefer milkier or less milky choc.
2. Cleanse your pallet: What you have already eaten affects how you perceive flavours. To really appreciate the flavour of what you are tasting make sure you have not had anything to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes before. Also, avoid smoking for 30 mins before tasting.
3. Shape matters: The shape of chocolate alters the flavour because it affects the way it melts in your mouth and therefore the time release of the chocolate notes. Find a shape that works for you!
4. Temperature: Aromatic cocoa notes are more apparent at higher temperatures and so 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is not so hot that your chocolate melts, but not so cold that the flavour doesn’t come through.
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