By Lia Blanchard

There’s nothing more disappointing – or messier – than a gooey pile of once-beautiful chocolate. Or… solid chocolate that has that white film on it and just tastes off. Chocolate, particularly the highest quality chocolate, is a stable food right up until it isn’t. Once the threshold of temperature or moisture is crossed, your gorgeous treat changes very quickly. What causes these things to happen to our beloved indulgence?

Too much heat

As chocolate softens in high temperatures, the cocoa butter breaks down and rises to the surface. If the chocolate has a chance to harden again, the separated fat is visible as a layer of “fat bloom”.

So what is a “high” temperature? The volume and type of cocoa in different types of chocolate vary widely, and determine its separation temperature. Generally speaking, the darker the chocolate – the higher the concentration of cocoa – the higher the separation temperature. Additionally, if the chocolate’s cocoa beans are from a plant that grows near the equator it takes more heat to begin breaking down than a mixture made from beans grown in a colder climate.

Too much moisture

Too much moisture produces a similar effect when condensation on the surface of the chocolate adheres to some of the sugar and then evaporates. This process is called “seizing” and the film of sugar that is left behind is called “sugar bloom”.

Just right

Art of Appreciation is dedicated to providing your gift recipient with a stunning masterpiece, and in the summertime, that means taking extra precautions with gifts that include our high-quality chocolate. This may mean that your gift is cold-packed, has had an ingredient or two substituted with a more stable chocolate item, or simply isn’t available in warm seasons. Clear information is available within each product description, and our Customer Care Team is always available to answer your specific questions or requests at 1.866.747.5527.

Coming this fall: Chocolate University! A series of informational posts about chocolate: where it comes from, how it’s made, its many varieties, and more. Yummmmmmm.