Ask Matt: What Can I Do with This Expired Chocolate?

“Ask Matt Caputo” is an ongoing feature where Matt answers commonly asked questions from the market. This week, he discusses the true meaning of bean to bar or craft chocolate.

Caputos Chocolate Tasting SmallQ: I just found some expired craft chocolate bars hidden beneath the rest of my chocolate stash and the best by date is from 4 years ago!  What are your thoughts on still consuming these? I’d hate to throw them away. 

A: I have an insane amount of cupboard space dedicated to chocolate, so old, random chocolate is a constant issue for me. Unless there are nuts or other inclusion that could go stale, there’s no need to throw them away. There is not enough water activity in chocolate for it to rot and as it is fully oxidized (part of the reason it’s brown) there are no issues with it being stale. At worst, it may have picked up the flavor of the fridge or lost some of its fruity vibrancy.

Although there would be no harm in it, I would not recommend eating it on its own as fat and sugar have likely migrated causing problems with texture and maybe even bloom (white powder looking stuff on the surface). Problems with texture are going to cause problems with flavor. However, you can completely fix sugar or fat migration texture issues by melting, so certainly don’t throw it away. Depending on the origin it may be almost as delicious as the day you bought it if you just melt it and use in baking, cooking or hot chocolate. If I were you, I would help myself and continue to enjoy.

PSST! Want to know more? Join us at an Intro to Fine Chocolate class!

Disclaimer: While Matt Caputo is a Certified Cheese Professional and specialty food fanatic, he is not a medical professional, doctor, or certified nutritionist. Please consult with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before making any healthcare decisions, diagnostics or treatment decisions based on Matt’s answers.

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