I bought a chocolate bar. When I opened it, I found it was covered with white stuff. Has it gone bad?

Your chocolate is safe to eat, but its texture might be off.

The whiteness indicates that it’s been compromised by either heat or humidity. Canadian pastry chef Thomas Haas says that when chocolate gets too warm, cocoa crystals loosen from the structure and migrate to the surface, causing a whitish bloom and a degraded texture.

Chocolate shouldn’t be allowed to get too cold either. Chuck Siegel, owner of Charles Chocolates, warns against keeping chocolate refrigerated. The humidity in the fridge causes the sugar to crystallize—which could be another reason for the white bloom on your chocolate. Haas insists that chocolate should be eaten at room temperature and should be considered perishable. “You shouldn’t store it. You should eat it.”

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