Storing Boxed Chocolates: How Long Do Chocolates Last?
Long after the holidays have passed, you can still dig into those boxed chocolates. So exactly how long does a box of chocolates last? Properly stored, chocolates will stay tasty for months — here's how to keep them fresh:
(1) For best results, store boxed chocolates at a moderate room temperature.
The ideal temperature for storing chocolates is generally between 60° and 70° Fahrenheit — much warmer than that, and the chocolates’ texture and appearance can begin to suffer.
How long does a box of chocolates last at room temperature? Stored under those moderate temperatures, most types of boxed chocolates will retain their quality for at least 6 to 9 months, even after they been opened.*
(2) In hot, humid conditions — or for longer-term storage — refrigerate or freeze chocolates.
If the climate in your home is routinely above 70° Fahrenheit and humid — or if you can’t polish off an entire box of chocolates within a few months — your next best option is to refrigerate or freeze your boxed chocolates.
How long do boxed chocolates last in the fridge or freezer? As a general rule, refrigerating chocolate can extend its shelf life by at least 25%, while freezing can prolong it by 50% or more. Place the original box in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag, seal it tightly and then refrigerate for up to one year, or freeze for up to 18 months for best quality. Thaw frozen chocolates in the refrigerator.
(3) Wrap tightly to keep the odors away.
Chocolate absorbs nearby odors like a sponge. So it’s important to keep your boxed chocolates well-covered, no matter where you’re storing them. For maximum taste and freshness, place opened boxes in a heavy-duty plastic bag and close tightly.
*The exception: Premium gourmet, handmade (and typically ultra-expensive) chocolates purchased from specialty stores will usually remain at peak quality for only about 2-3 weeks at room temperature.
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