According to Timothy Molley of Boulder, Colo., maker of premium Chocolove chocolate bars, there is a right and wrong way to handle quality chocolate:
Chocolate should be stored in temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees. It’s best not to refrigerate chocolate, as condensation may form, affecting the appearance and texture.
Chocolate that has melted and reformed with a whitish cast is still edible. The cocoa particles, sugar crystals and cocoa butter have risen to the surface of the chocolate, giving it a white, dusty appearance known as “bloom.” The texture is altered as well as the taste, but the chocolate is fine.
Dark chocolate improves with age. It contains chemical compounds comparable to wine. The aging process helps acids and tannins soften into chocolate flavor. If stored properly, in an airtight container at the right temperature, dark chocolate will retain its flavor for two years.
While chocolate is a treat for humans, don’t offer it to the family dog. Theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, can kill your pet. It causes an increased heart rate, leading to heart failure. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitches and nervous behaviors.
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