Confession: I was raised by Queenslanders. That means that even though I grew up in chilly Canberra, I lived my life like it was always 40 degrees outside. We wouldn't go swimming unless it was at least 30 degrees; in winter, my lunch was still packed in a freezer bag; and you best believe our chocolate was always in the fridge.
If I dared leave it on the kitchen counter for ten minutes, my parents would act as if I'd committed treason. I was scolded for risking heat affected chocolate: "It's not just white spots!" They'd insist. "It goes chalky and loses all its taste!"
Look, I haven't had a lot of experience with PTSD, but their attitudes to melting chocolate feels comparable.
WATCH: I also have PTSD from melted chocolate, but for different Bachelor-related reasons...
But you know what? They're right. Chocolate does belong in the fridge.
The other day, a friend of mine derisively mocked her boyfriend for his fridge preference and I was aghast — doesn't everybody prefer cold chocolate?
A quick scientific survey (aka me asking my co-workers) proved this warm chocolate thing isn't all that uncommon — in fact, it was the preference.
If you too
are a total freak prefer cupboard chocolate, I'm here to change your mind.
Melted chocolate is the absolute worst
Nobody has time for melted chocolate. Cupboard chocolate doesn't necessarily = melted, but the chances are a helluva lot higher than when it lives in the humble fridge.
Also my parents are right to fear heat affected chocolate… is it weird that I say that in a reverent whisper in my head? Man, this fear is deep.
The repeated heating and cooling of chocolate can lead to instances of fat bloom, and I'm not talking about what happens to your body after gorging on three Cadbury blocks in front of the TV.
The fats in the cocoa butter separate and you get a yellow, streaky chocolate which is technically safe to eat, but at what cost?
Sure, fridge chocolate can result in sugar bloom — where the condensation from the fridge settles on the surface of your chocolate and draws sugar out of its body — but that's an easy fix.
Firstly, drawing sugar out of the body? Sounds like a diet technique to me!*
*Definitely is not a diet technique.
Secondly, pop the chocolate in a lunchbox if that's really an issue… easy!
"But I like chocolate to melt in my mouth!"
This is a valid argument and I want you to know I hear you but it takes cold chocolate substantially longer to melt than warm chocolate. At the end of the day, aren't we all just trying to prolong the sweet sensation of chocolate as much as we can?
One possible exception is Lindt balls whose gooey middle is arguably the entire allure. But when it comes to chocolate blocks, it's wildly more satisfying hearing that brisk snap with each bite than suffering through a blobby mess.
What about chocolate biscuits?
Let me shut this debate down with three words: Tim Tam slams.
If you dunk biscuits in your tea, like any self-respecting adult, a room-temp version will disintegrate and ruin both your drink and snack simultaneously.
Honestly though, even bikkies without chocolate are better from the fridge. The ones with creamy fillings in that variety pack, the one at every conference, are even improved by a quick chill.
"But there's anti-melt stuff in chocolate."
A couple of years ago, chocolate boffins in the UK reduced the sugar into smaller particles that needed to be covered in less fat and made the bar less inclined to melt, reported The Telegraph.
Since they think it's a heatwave over there at 20 degrees, obviously they shipped that technology over our way, but some Australian chocolatiers reject the premise.
"We want to keep our products as pure and superior as we can with a high cocoa content and avoiding additives wherever possible," Haigh's corporate brand manager Stuart Chandler told news.com.au.
"One of the key things people enjoy about chocolate is how it feels in the mouth when it starts to melt and that happens at 30C-32C.
"If chocolate doesn't melt until a higher temperature it might not melt in the mouth and that is a key part of enjoying chocolate."
So look, while soft chocolate might be your jam, for it to liquefy in the middle of an Australian summer means fridge chocolate will always reign supreme.
At the end of the day, Pro-Fridgers and Anti-Fridgers should be able to put their differences aside. But, if you and your partner are in different camps, I'm pretty sure a marriage can't survive that kind of disparity and you should just cut your losses and move on.