Fine chocolate is far too sensitive to be stored in a refrigerator: It absorbs odors and reacts to changes in temperature. Moving from cold to warm and back again can cause chocolate to develop a grayish-white “bloom” on the surface (that’s the cocoa butter separating out from the chocolate). It still tastes fine, but it mars the appearance. Find a cool place to store chocolate (the ideal place for both temperature and humidity is a wine storage unit). The best advice is not to buy more filled chocolates or truffles than you’ll eat in a week; and if you’re given a large box, don’t hoard it, share it. The finest chocolates are made without preservatives and should be consumed within two weeks. They’ll still be edible in a month, but the fillings will have started to break down and won’t be as flavorful. Beyond that, the flavor does begin to decline. Plain chocolate bars with no filling or nuts can stay fresh for a year or more, wrapped well in foil and kept in the right “wine refrigerator” environment.
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