Everyone has been in the situation where they impulsively buy a large quantity of Hershey’s Kisses and then put them in the back of the pantry. Then months go by before you find them again. Initially, excitement! Confusion and uncertainty soon after that. Picture the situation: The chocolate has a white layer covering it. Why does this matter? The chocolate has not yet expired, according to the package. Can you still eat it?
What is the lifespan of Hershey’s Kisses? When kept in ideal storage conditions, Hershey’s chocolate will last approximately 11 months; if the bag is still sealed, it may last even longer. There are many factors that can cause chocolate to go bad before its expiration date, so it is not a reliable indicator.
We examine the numerous factors that can cause Hershey’s Kisses to spoil in today’s article. You can better understand how long they can last — and how to make them last even longer — if you know what destroys them.
What Are Hershey’s Kisses Made Of?
Hershey’s Kisses are arguably one of the world’s most well-known chocolate treats. These drop-shaped chocolate dollops are made with just a few ingredients, including cane sugar, milk powder, milk fat, chocolate, cocoa butter, and lecithin. Preservatives, stabilizers, flavorings, and colorings are among the less-discussed ingredients found in every chocolate bar. These are among the most popular upgrades. These are the artificial additives that extend the shelf life of chocolate bars and products. This is also true of Hershey’s Kisses!
Understanding The Shelf Life Of Chocolate Products
Given the presence of numerous stabilizers and preservatives in many chocolate products, the ingredient has a fairly long shelf life. You can typically find a best-by, use-by, or expiry date printed on the packaging of each Hershey’s chocolate product. There are a few different interpretations for these dates. Why is it crucial to comprehend them? The bottom line is that they will enable you to comprehend the real (true) expiration date better. Or, how long your Hershey’s Kisses will actually remain fresh.
As a result, the best-by date is a date that indicates when the chocolate is at its peak. Chocolate is still edible after six months of production, but it is no longer good. The texture and flavor of chocolate (or any product) deteriorate with age. As a result, most manufacturers include a best-by date on the product. This date is in no way indicative of the chocolate’s expiry date (when it has become inedible). Because there are so many different factors that can cause chocolate to expire, producers often struggle to pinpoint a date.
Another method used by producers to provide a general idea of how long the chocolate will remain edible is the use-by date. This date only gives the consumer an idea of how long the chocolate will probably still be edible, not when it will be at its best. The expiration date is not necessarily indicated by the use-by date either.
Expiry dates are no longer used by many businesses. Why? Well, liability laws have become so strict that if they put a date on the bar and someone gets sick before that date, they could be sued. Some brands, however, still include this date in addition to use-by or best-by dates. The expiry date indicates when chocolate should no longer be consumed. It’s still a ballpark date, and you never know when chocolate has gone bad (before it actually does). As a result, even this date may be inaccurate. But we will say that by this date, the chocolate will no longer be appealing to eat, even if it is still edible.
How Long Do Hershey’s Kisses Last?
For the most part, Hershey’s Kisses can retain their freshness for up to 11 months, but only if the chocolate has been kept in ideal conditions. It’s possible to eat it after 11 months, but it might not taste very good. Though it’s possible to put chocolate to other uses, the possibilities remain open. Despite the printed expiration date, Hershey’s Kisses are likely still good for a couple of months if the package is still sealed (about 2 on average). At 11 months, the taste of dark chocolate (like Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark or Dark Chocolate) is preferred over that of sweeter varieties.
At 11 months, the taste of a regular bag of Hershey’s Kisses or Hershey’s Hugs White Creme will be noticeably diminished. Most of the time, this is because the additives (of which there are more in sugary chocolates) have reached their expiration dates. Generally speaking, the flavor of older dark chocolate products is superior because there are fewer additives in them.
What Affects The Quality (And Shelf Life) Of Hershey’s Kisses?
Temperature is the most important factor influencing the shelf life of these chocolate drops. Temperature fluctuations cause other changes, which ultimately reduce the shelf life. The overall quality of the chocolate deteriorates significantly, causing the best-by, use-by, and expiry dates to be pushed forward. Chocolate is usually ruined in one of two ways. The first is called the sugar bloom, and the second is called the fat bloom.
When chocolate is stored in a damp environment, such as the refrigerator, sugar bloom occurs. Moisture begins to accumulate on the surface of the chocolate kisses, extracting the sugar from the chocolate. The sugar crystals will remain on the surface of the chocolate once the moisture has evaporated.
Fat bloom occurs when the chocolate is overheated. When the cocoa butter is overheated, it separates from the other ingredients. It solidifies again when it reaches the surface, leaving white fatty streaks on the surface of the chocolate bar or product.
Can You Eat Hershey’s Kisses After Their Expiration Date?
Most likely, Hershey’s Kisses can still be consumed after the printed expiration date. They won’t, however, taste particularly good. As a result, it is always best to make sure the chocolate drops are still edible before using them past their expiration date. However, even if your chocolate hasn’t gone bad, it’s still a good idea to check its quality before using it. And as we’ve previously mentioned, chocolate can spoil even before it has passed its expiration date!
How To Tell When Hershey’s Kisses Have Gone Bad
There are a few indicators that indicate when you should toss your chocolate. First, consider the chocolate’s physical appearance. If the chocolate has become powdery or cracked, it has dried out. This most likely affected the shelf life as well. And, of course, if you notice any mold growth on the chocolate, it should be discarded immediately. If you notice signs of fat or sugar bloom (streaky fatty streaks or a white surface), look for other signs of spoiled chocolate first. These Kisses may still be used in baking, but their texture will be unpleasant when eaten on their own.
Then you can smell the chocolate, particularly the milk and white chocolate kisses. They will begin to smell rancid when they expire due to the presence of milk powder and fat. Finally, if you eat the chocolate and it tastes strange, it is strange. If you’ve ever had Hershey’s Kisses (or any chocolate for that matter), you’ll recognize when a chocolate product tastes off! Trust your instincts.
How To Properly Store Hershey’s Kisses
Always keep chocolate in a cool, dry location. Both the refrigerator and room temperature are excluded from that. The ideal temperature range for chocolate storage is between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 20 degrees Celsius). The average room temperature is 20-22 oC (68-72 oF) at its coldest. Any temperature higher than what is advised will increase the likelihood of fat bloom in your chocolate.
Additionally, it can produce sugar bloom if you store it in a very humid or cold environment (where it condenses and sweats). Additionally, you must always wrap or store your chocolate in an airtight container. That will help shield it from foreign objects and stop the chocolate from absorbing any odors that may be present.
Can You Freeze Hershey’s Kisses?
We do not recommend freezing chocolate. While it helps to preserve and extend the shelf life of chocolate, it also ruins the flavor and texture. And there’s no way to get around it. When chocolate is frozen, sugar blooms immediately. So, once thawed, your chocolate can only be used for melting.
It will be crumbly and dry, with a poor texture. It will also lack the creamy mouthfeel that Hershey’s Kisses should have. To make matters worse, the flavor of the chocolate will be subpar. So, only freeze Hershey’s Kisses when absolutely necessary! And, let’s be honest, their shelf life is already so long that the chocolate is unlikely to spoil before you use it.
How To Freeze Hershey’s Kisses
The best way to store Hershey’s Kisses in the freezer is as follows. The Hershey’s Kisses should first be put inside a freezer bag or other airtight container. After that, cover the entire container with foil. The foil will aid in preventing freezer burn, which will ultimately result in the drying out and flavor loss of your Hershey’s Kisses. Always keep aromatic ingredients out of the freezer when storing chocolate there. The chocolate should not be frozen for more than six months.