How to store chocolate (if you must)

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My co-workers and I are in a quandary. Some say that chocolate has a very short shelf life. I say it depends on the type of chocolate and that refrigeration will even add to its shelf life. Any clarification you can provide would be helpful.

Memo to: Office Staff:

First: Get back to work!

Second: Chocolate is meant to be eaten or added to something you're cooking or baking. If you just hold onto it, you'll have little reason to go out and buy more, resulting in a vicious circle of storing chocolate, not eating it, storing chocolate, not eating it, etc., etc. You can see the futility of such a program.

Third: Stored properly — that is, tightly wrapped in a dry place between 60°F and 70°F (16°C and 21°C) — dark chocolate can last for years. Because of the milk solids they contain, milk chocolate and white chocolate don't hold up for more than about nine months.

If chocolate is kept too warm, some of the cocoa butter it contains may float to the surface, resulting in blooms, which are unsightly, but do not affect the taste or texture. If it is stored too cold, it may form tiny sugar crystals on the surface, so that rules out the refrigerator as the ideal place to stash your chocolate.