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May 22, 2010 08:09 AM

Storing cocoa powder?

Hi, wasn't exactly sure which board to post this question (sorry if it's in the wrong place)

Was just wondering if anyone knows the best way to store cocoa powder so that it keeps its freshness longer? I know my mom always told me to store coffee in the fridge so it would last longer but I don't know if that applies to cocoa too.

I just spent about $30 on some of the expensive Callebaut dutch process cocoa powder (will be making some cakes now but want to use it sparingly so that I still have some next year), and from what I understand it's a very "high fat" cocoa powder and should not be kept too long, but I don't know how long is too long- I am not a professional chef or anything like that. Thanks for any advice :)

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  1. Do they have a website with advice?? Is it on the package??


    1. Tips from the site "Still Tasty, The Ultimate Shelf Life Guide" that I couldn't link, for some reason, so I'll paraphase:

      Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Packaging should be well sealed.

      Store best quality cocoa, like your's, for up to a year. After that, flavor and color may change, but it's still usable if it's been stored properly.

      Any off flavor, odor or appearance should be dumped, for qualities sake.

      "Best by" dates, "use by" dates and that ilk represent the manufacturer's estimate of how long the product will be usable and safe, depending on storage methods, whether the package is opened, damaged, etc. This is for US manufactured products; your imported cocoa may not have those date estimates.

      So get to bakin' and enjoy!

      1. Thanks so much for the replies, guys. I didn't even think to see if the manufacturer had a website. Now that I look more closely at the packaging, it says the exp date is may of 2011, so I should get a year's worth of baking out of it if I'm careful. Cool, dry, dark place it is!

        Thanks again to both of you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Argent3

          "it says the exp date is may of 2011"
          that's assuming you follow the recommended storage & handling procedures, so just be sure to keep it away from too much moisture, light or heat. i *adore* Callebaut products - enjoy!

        2. if you like callebaut, you'll love pernigotti, which is dutched, and scented with vanilla.

          william-sonoma used to carry it, but it's available at amazon, and amazingly, it's less expensive than callebaut.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wonderwoman

            How much of a vanilla scent does it have? What kind of vanilla product is used to scent the cocoa? I'm curious, as I'm always looking for a good cocoa deal for baking and I need some dutched. The amazon reviews don't address the vanilla scent issue.

            The small amount of vanilla scent is not a big concern, as I can adjust the flavoring, but I want cocoa that is true and not overwhelmed by another flavor. I'm looking for baking cocoa, more than for drinking use. What are your thoughts?

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              for me it's always been the gold standard, and i still have a hard time understanding why it's so much less expensive than callebaut and valrohna.

              as for the vanilla scent, it's not at all overwhelming. i started using it to roll truffles in. now, i use it for both drinking, in which case i don't add any vanilla, and baking, where i'll reduce the vanilla called for.

              as for what kind of vanilla, here's a link to more details.


              1. re: wonderwoman

                Excellent, this may just be my new cocoa powder. The price is right, for sure; a significant savings over Valrhona dutched. I saw Pernigotti at amazon but never really looked at the page. Thanks so much for hipping me to this.

          2. I always refrigerate cocoa powder. You just need to make sure it's sealed tightly. Though I never have to worry about it lasting for a year ;)