Archive for November, 2010

Kakao Upcoming Events

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Brian

We’ve had a busy couple of days in the shop — in fact, last Saturday was our busiest day since just before Valentine’s Day. Which means we need to make a lot of chocolate for December! (Don’t worry, we’re ready for you…)

Lots of upcoming events, activities, and special occasions to get on your Chocolate Calendars. Ready?

Wednesday, November 24 – Last day to buy your Thanksgiving hostess gifts; we’ll be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, November 25 – Closed for Thanksgiving. We have MUCH to be thankful for!

Friday, November 26 – Open 9-6. Take a break from shopping with $1 coffee or hot chocolate all day!

Saturday, November 27 – Open 9-4

Sunday, November 28 – Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Closed November 29

Wednesday, December 1 – Come join Nikki from Pudd’nHead books at 7 p.m. when she brings her favorite gift books to our shop. Now’s your chance to get the books that you know your friends and family will love (Nikki will tell you exactly why). Plus lots of chocolate samples, wine and other treats (including free books!).

December 3,4, and 5Holiday Magic returns! Join Kakao at the Convention Center all three days, and enjoy shopping, holiday food, festive music, and even carnival rides and ice skating.

Saturday, December 4 – The third annual Green Living Expo at the Missouri History Museum from noon to 4 p.m., with eco-friendly shopping, music, a Teens Make History theater performance, and lots of family friendly activities.

Saturday, December 4 – Kakao will also (yes, three events that day!) be at Yellow Farmhouse Winery for their annual Christmas Open House from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Lots more events in December, plus special extended store hours. And we have a very special announcement we’ll be making very soon….

Chocolate Shelf Life

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 by Brian

You’ll never guess how long some chocolate will last.

But first, we’re often asked a question about storing chocolate: can you put chocolate in the refrigerator?

My first response when someone asks me that questions is, why would you want to do that?

My second response is to tell them that at Kakao, we’re much more about timely consumption than about storage.

It is a reasonable question, though. You might not want to eat the chocolate right away, and storing it in the fridge will make it last longer. If that’s what you want.

As you might know, we don’t use any artificial preservatives (or flavors, or colors) in our chocolates. Which means that our truffles and caramels — which are made with heavy cream — won’t last forever. We recommend that you eat them within three weeks of when we make them. (They’ll last a few weeks longer than that, but they really do taste better when they’re more fresh.)

As an industry standard, you double the shelf life of a confection for every 18 degrees you lower the temperature. Which basically means that three-week truffle will last two to three months in your fridge. (Reminder: Timely consumption!)

If you do put chocolate in the fridge, please don’t eat it right away — it will taste better if you let it come to room temperature first.

Of course, solid chocolate — like our barks and bars — are a different matter altogether. Chocolate all by itself can last for quite a long time, although it will start to bloom as the cocoa butter separates from the rest of the ingredients, becoming a dusty powder on the surface. It’s a bit more crunchy but still edible — and not as tasty, at least until you let it melt in your mouth. (Best thing to do with it at this point is chop it up and bake it in cookies or brownies.) We give our solid chocolates a shelf life of up to three months.

Back to the original thought, about how long chocolate can really last. (Prepare to be disgusted.) I stopped at a convenience store and glanced at the Christmas aisle, where I found a stack of traditional “sampler” boxes familiar to all of us. The expiration date on the package: September 2011.

But it gets worse. Those chocolates weren’t made yesterday — they were probably made this spring, in anticipation of Christmas. Which means that they put something in those chocolates to make them last about 18 months.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not that’s a good idea.