One of the things that makes chocolate difficult to send in the mail is the fact that it can melt. You can avoid this by sending chocolate that is already melted such as a sauce, or chocolate that is added to a recipe that is less likely to melt, such as brownies. Sending solid chocolate during the cold season lessens the chances that your package will be left sitting in the hot sun. If you must send chocolate pieces during a warm time of year, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of them melting.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Frozen gel packs
- Tin foil
- Waxed paper
- Zipper seal bag
Consider freezing your chocolate first. If it is frozen when you ship it, this will delay melting because it will have to thaw first. Chocolate can change in texture and appearance when it is frozen (due to sugar and fat separation), so keep this in mind when deciding if you want to freeze it. If so, ensure that it is refrigerator chilled for 24 hours first, and vacuum sealed to remove excess air. Air exposure and rapid temperature changes are the two factors that can alter the appearance of chocolate during freezing, so ensure that these conditions are prevented.
Plan to send your chocolate at the beginning of the week, to avoid storage in a mail processing facility during non-delivery weekends. The faster your package arrives at its destination, the less likely it is to sit in storage that may be too warm.
Prepare your shipping box. Line the box with tin foil. This will help reflect back any sun or heat rays that contact your parcel. Next, put a layer of bubble wrap inside the box. The air bubbles will act as insulation to help keep the inside of the parcel cool. Use frozen gel packs for your next layer. The idea is to have the chocolate closest to the gel packs, with the bubble wrap around them to keep the cold in, and the foil around everything to keep the heat out. If you will be mailing chocolate frequently, consider purchasing Mylar-covered thermal bubble wrap specifically designed for shipping food.
Prepare your chocolate. Wrap it to protect it from condensation from the gel packs and separate any layers with waxed paper. If the chocolate will be shipped with other items, enclose it in a zipper sealed bag to prevent contact with the other items.
Seal and label your shipping box. Cover all seams with tape to help trap the cold inside. Clearly mark the box with labels such as "perishable," "fragile," "this side up" and "keep refrigerated".
Invest in fast shipping. Some professional chocolate companies require overnight delivery in the warmest months of the year. You may even wish to consider a delivery option that requires a signature so that your parcel is not left sitting in the hot sun.
Notify the recipient. If the person you are sending the chocolate to has prior warning of its arrival, she can be at the delivery location when the parcel arrives. She may even be able to suggest the best address for delivery, such as work or home, or have a suggestion to give the delivery service about where the package can be left.
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