It is no wonder that the Aztecs believed that cacao was a gift from the god of wisdom and used it as currency.
The Egyptians buried their dead with cacao and throughout history, cacao has been dubbed as the ‘Food of the Gods’ (source) and it is only fitting the in our modern times.
Chocolate, which is derived from cacao, is only revealed in its highest glory.
All in all, in the early ’20s, chocolate was no longer marketed only in its solid form, but in its syrup form as well, which we eponymously as chocolate syrup.
But chocolate syrup does not last forever and the question remains – does chocolate syrup go bad? And like all good things, it eventually comes to an end at one point. It should also be a matter of concern to stay away from the bad chocolate syrup as it is highly likely that nobody really likes to throw away anything related to chocolate. So the best way to avoid that is to prevent it from going bad in the first place.
What Is Chocolate Syrup Anyways?
The typical chocolate syrup will contain unsweetened cocoa powder, water, sugar, corn syrup, preservatives, an emulsifier and artificial flavoring.
These ingredients will then be processed to form thick syrup and will be bottled for sale to the public (source).
Chocolate syrup is an important condiment for people who love chocolate as ketchup is important for people who love burgers.
With the syrup, the ideas for using it in the culinary field are unlimited, in fact, there are no rules as to where you should put it or not.
Chocolate syrup is a common sight in desserts and ice-creams where the syrup can be used to garnish the sweet dish with a final oomph of flavor. It is also used as a topping on pancakes, puddings, cheesecakes or just any cakes in general. Gourmet chefs often use chocolate syrup for decorating their dishes as well.
The use of chocolate syrup is versatile as it can also be used in chocolate milkshakes where its use goes beyond just being a topping.
It can also be added to cake, cookie and biscuit recipes for a choco tang. For that extra goodness of chocolate to your hot cup of cocoa, squeeze some of that syrup into your mug and you will be all set to curl up with your favorite book.
How Long Does Chocolate Syrup Last? Does Chocolate Syrup Go Bad?
Every bottle of chocolate syrup has a best by date, which is different from the expiration date. The best by date actually informs how the product will be at its best quality.
Unopened bottles of chocolate syrup can last longer than its best by date by 2 whole years according to.
You could store it in your pantry, your cupboard or your refrigerator, but as long as the seal is unbroken, it doesn’t matter where you store it, the shelf life of a chocolate syrup bottle would still prolong.
If the bottle is opened, you could increase the shelf life by storing it in the refrigerator without fail. The product will still be in its top quality even after its best by date for a full year.
Like all products, chocolate syrup will have its own expiration date as well; its quality will decline with every passing time.
Even though it may be safe to consume the chocolate syrup, you will find that the taste will lack flavor and sometimes in unfortunate cases, it can also lead to food poisoning.
How to Tell If Chocolate Syrup Is Bad?
To find out whether your chocolate syrup has gone bad or not is easy. Like most food products, you will see a difference in its texture and color of the syrup.
First of all, there will be inconsistency in the texture of the syrup, it will no longer have a chocolaty brown syrupy texture, but the contents will look separated. The thicker substances will settle at the bottom and the lighter liquid will be at the top.
Second of all, it is also apparent that you may see some moldy or a crusty appearance at the neck of the bottle. This probably means that your chocolate syrup has gone bad and is not safe to consume at all.
If there are no physical signs of spoilage at all, and if the chocolate syrup has been sitting there for a long time, the only option is to taste it. If it has a funny taste and does not taste good, it is time to discard it and replace it with a new bottle.
How to Store Chocolate Syrup?
The chocolate syrup needs to be stored in a place where the temperature does not fluctuate much. Temperature fluctuations can somehow throw off the emulsifier in the syrup (source) and it may separate the ingredients in the bottle. This will result in an inconsistent texture and an overall bad taste. (source)
The pantry is a good option to prolong the shelf life of your chocolate syrup, however, once a bottle is opened; it is a much better idea to store the chocolate syrup in a refrigerator to retain the taste and consistency.
However, an opened chocolate syrup bottle can attract bacteria to enter which can cause the syrup to form into a moldy texture. Of course, the preservatives present in the chocolate syrup will prolong the shelf life of the chocolate syrup, but it goes without saying that various environmental issues can hamper the dignity of the chocolate syrup.
On the other hand, the cool temperature of the refrigerator will keep away the bacteria and will also solve the problem of fluctuations in temperature. The bottom line is that the refrigerator is the best option for storing an opened bottle of chocolate syrup.
You can also freeze chocolate syrup to keep it fresh for longer. But if you decide to freeze your chocolate syrup, make sure you transfer it to an airtight container because squeezing out frozen syrup is impractical.
Chocolate syrup shelf life can be expanded by putting it in the freezer for at least 6 months after which the quality of the syrup will decline gradually.