The best thing to do with really good chocolate is… to eat it as soon as possible, preferably right here on the Koko Mana farm! Let the chocolate warm up to room temperature and let it literally ‘melt in your mouth’!
However, if you want to take some home to share with friends and family – or to give as gifts – here are some practical tips on caring for your chocolate, so that it stays in the best possible condition.
In line with our commitment to minimising environmental impact and preserving Fiji’s beautiful environment, KokoMana chocolate is packaged in simple cellophane packets. Cellophane is a plant-derived material and fully biodegradable. This packaging material is not currently available in Fiji so we import it from Centaur Packaging in Bomaderry, NSW – a company that offers a wide range of environmentally friendly packaging products.
Almost every decision relating to production, processing, packaging and marketing a food product involves trade-offs – and a ‘down’ side to the use of cellophane is that it is more permeable to humidity than polythene or multi-layer foil packaging. Our chocolate bars can be stored for a few days (or even weeks) under ambient conditions, even in the humid tropical conditions of Fiji, without noticeable deterioration. However, please don’t leave our chocolate in a closed vehicle (or airline baggage) out in the sun. It will melt once the temperature exceeds about 35°C and the texture will never be the same again. In technical terms, we say that it ‘blooms’ or ‘goes out of temper’.
The ideal storage conditions for chocolate are similar to those for red wine: 18°C, with a low-to-moderate humidity. We therefore use red wine chillers to keep our chocolate in perfect condition until you buy it. And we prefer to sell our chocolate directly to visitors who come to the farm, though we have recently started to sell KokoMana chocolate through carefully selected retailers and resorts around Savusavu, who seem to know how to treat fine chocolate with the respect it deserves!
If you are keeping your chocolate for a few days, in the course of travelling, then we suggest keeping it in a normal domestic fridge – but NOT in the freezer compartment. And, don’t forget, try to let it warm up to room temperature before you eat it, for the best texture and maximum development of flavour. Enjoy!