Science Fact: The Infamous Chocolate Bloom

The world is a magical place, and in many circles, this magic is called science. Sometimes this magical science is a wonderful thing, resulting in double rainbows or David Byrne or magnets or baby giraffes. Other times, this scientific magic gives us something that just isn’t all that great.
bloomin' chocolate!
Introducing Chocolate Bloom, the scourge of chocolate lovers everywhere. You might have fallen victim on a chocolate bar past, dropping the grayed, pockmarked bar with disgust just moments after unwrapping it with hasty delight. “O Calamity!”, you exclaimed with great fervor and an unanswered rumbling stomach, “Why hath fate dealt me such terrible fortune?”
Well, I’ll tell you. Science may sometimes be magical– and in this particular case, cruel– but it is never unintentional. There are two kinds of Chocolate bloom: Fat Bloom and Sugar Bloom. Fat Bloom is a by-product that occurs when unchecked chocolate is heated and cooled. When chocolate heats up, a bit of the fat separates from the solid particles, forming into white residue. The result is that fractal streaking and spottiness on chocolate bars that can ruin the moment.
not so tasty, innit?
Sugar Bloom’s main catalyst is moisture. When water comes in contact with chocolate, it bonds with the sugar, leaving behind chocolate graffiti when it evaporates. Like Fat Bloom, Sugar Bloom occurs when chocolate goes through extreme temperature change.
Suger Bloom
Next time this happens, take heed that the chocolate is still edible, perhaps even still delicious! You can wipe away fat bloom (for the most part), but sugar bloom changes the structure of the bar. You may find the consistency to be grainy or brittle. Rest assured, you can eat it as long as the chocolate is still under warranty (check the “best before” date on the wrapper). If you get a bar that’s bloomed, bring it back to where you bought it. They should replace it. If you store large quantities of chocolate at home, keep it in a cool, dry place enjoying a temperature range between 60-75º Fahrenheit. This should ensure that next time you crack open a bar of FEARLESS, you will get to experience the full magic of delicious chocolate, regardless of what science may have to say about it.

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