Question:

Why is it important to wrap a chocolate?

Keeping Chocolate Under Wraps

The beautiful sheen you see when you unwrap a fine chocolate indicates that it has been “tempered” correctly. Tempering chocolate is a process of melting and cooling chocolate at certain temperatures to stabilize its ingredients. This allows the cocoa butter to solidify as a suspension, so the chocolate hardens properly and develops a gloss. It then needs to be stored properly to protect the temper.

The beautiful sheen you see when you unwrap a fine chocolate indicates that it has been “tempered” correctly. Tempering chocolate is a process of melting and cooling chocolate at certain temperatures to stabilize its ingredients. This allows the cocoa butter to solidify as a suspension, so the chocolate hardens properly and develops a gloss. It then needs to be stored properly to protect the temper.

Chocolates that are left unwrapped will lose their stability and ‘bloom' when in direct contact with moisture, light or cold temperatures. The bloom looks like a light colored film or streak on the outside of the chocolate. That's the cocoa butter separating from the rest of the chocolate. And, as it separates, it floats to the surface of your chocolate, discoloring it. This happens because cocoa butter is a fat, and fat absorbs heat at a different rate than the other ingredients in chocolate.

Another reason to keep your chocolates under wrap is because they absorb external odors and tastes. Dark and milk chocolates contain some anti-oxidents that slow down the absorption process, but white chocolate does not contain anti-oxidents and so are more sensitive to odors and tastes.

Chocolates should always be stored in a cool dry place away from light and air to prolong their shelf life. According to finedarkchocolate.com, the ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 54 and 68 degrees. To protect them against moisture, store them where the maximum humidity is 70 percent.

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Tammi Reynolds