We all know someone who refuses to store their chocolate anywhere but in the fridge, who can and will argue for their cause for hours on end, but are they right? The answer ultimately comes back to how we taste flavours: our tongues identify five distinct tastes, typically categorised into sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Our sense of smell, however, is able to detect, recognise and appreciate hundreds of different flavours, making aroma an essential element of our sense of taste.
When chocolate is kept in the fridge, it melts slower on the palette. This means that the flavour particles inside the chocolate have a lower chance of being released as aroma, resulting in a blander, more boring taste.
Chocolate is also particularly prone to absorbing any smells surrounding it, so keeping it in the fridge can lead to, sometimes rather unsavoury, other flavour notes interfering.
If you’re still struggling to come to terms with the idea of taking your chocolate out of the fridge, start with the dark chocolate, the worst type to keep cold. Dark chocolate has a higher cacao percentage than milk chocolate, resulting in a higher melting temperature that means it will be even harder for its full flavours to be released when eaten cold.
So, if you want to fully appreciate the complex, carefully-developed flavours of our chocolate, ensuring that its aroma isn’t lost, store it at room temperature (and use our tongue-taste testimony to fight back against the hardcore fridge-storing chocolate eaters).