You can’t replace the joy of fudge. That rush of warm sweetness. The overwhelming of your senses as the heavenly smell of chocolate makes its way through your house while your taste buds relish the most decadent treat they’ve had in a while. Even if it isn’t a holiday, you and your neighbors will be convinced it is.
There’s nothing better — so long as it’s still in good condition.
The phrase “all good things must come to an end” is true — even if we’re talking about fudge. Once the time window in which a dessert is good has passed, it becomes unappealing and even hazardous. That’s why, amidst all the celebration and indulgence, we must keep the practical questions at the forefront of our minds. Does fudge need to be refrigerated? How long does it last?
We’re here to answer all of those questions and more for you. We’ll help you ensure that this treat remains a hidden gem in your house that makes it a better place. From now on, the fudge will get to be a delightful pleasure that never goes bad.
What Is the Lifespan of Fudge?
This is a question that has a lot of answers, as does the question “does fudge need to be refrigerated?” And the good news is that you have a lot of say over the outcome you end up with.
Depending on how well it’s stored, the general time range of how long fudge can last is wide — anywhere between one week and three months. We’re going to discuss the three options for the storage of fudge, along with the circumstances that work the best for each.
1. Room Temperature
The reason people love this method is that it saves refrigerator space as well as preserves the treat’s original form.
This route should only be taken if you know that you and everyone else in the household will have it polished off quickly. And we mean quickly. At room temperature, it can survive between one and two weeks. If there’s a lot, and you don’t want to eat fudge like it’s a chore, you should look into the next option we’re going to discuss.
Now we get to what you came here for — does fudge need to be refrigerated?
If you have a batch you’re fairly certain you won’t be able to finish quickly, the best option is to keep it in the refrigerator. Make sure the container you place it in leaves no room for outside air to come in.
However, even if you take this measure, fudge still needs to be high up on your list of food priorities. There’s nothing worse than putting a great snack away only to forget about it and then have to throw it out later. You’ll need to have everything you want out of it eaten within three to four weeks, provided that it’s been well-wrapped and contained, which we will delve more into later.
Now, we’re going to talk about the downside to this method. If you store fudge in the fridge, you won’t have the same snack you started with. The moisture will dry up. While it will still taste good, it won’t be that same soft, melt-in-your-mouth delicacy.
Let’s say your friend or coworker so generously got you a big basket of fudge, but you and your family don’t eat it that often. This is when the freezer would be the best way to go. Generally, you’re giving it a two to three-month boost. However, when stored correctly in the freezer, fudge has even been known to last an entire year.
This might make it seem like freezing is overall the best option, but there are downsides to everything. When you change the temperature of food this drastically, you’re also changing the molecules. It might not taste the same as when you first got it.
Also, think about what happens when anything unfreezes. It melts. Therefore, a food item cannot unfreeze without getting a little soggy. Along with being off-putting for many consumers, this is, again, changing the consistency of the product. These are two things you must keep in mind before making this decision.
6 Signs It’s Time To Throw Fudge Out
When we discuss the topic of “does fudge need to be refrigerated,” this is what we’re trying to prevent for you.
Nobody’s perfect, and sometimes food just plain goes bad. If any of these signs show up on fudge or any other dessert for that matter, then the process of spoiling has unfortunately already begun.
1. Slimy Texture
While it looks soft, it should feel tender and inviting, not slimy and infected. “Infected” being the operative word because that is what has happened to it.
If it’s there, you won’t be able to miss it. It will appear as a greenish-yellow spot on the food item and will not smell pleasant. It’s off-putting, and it should be because of what it represents.
It means the thing has begun to rot, and fungal infection has begun to spread. If there is mold on one part, the entire set needs to be disposed of because it has all been exposed to mold particles. This means that no matter how far it seems to be from the “bad” piece, you’re still taking a risk.
If it isn’t the same color it was when you first got it; you can safely assume it has gone bad.
4. Harder Consistency
While expired fudge has a slimy outer layer, it won’t be easy to chew through.
It should be smooth all around. The cracking is a byproduct of the hardening. In addition, it will begin clumping.
One of the defining traits of this dessert is its intoxicating smell. It’ll let you know it’s time to throw it away because that scent will be warped into an unpleasant, even rotten odor.
Many people describe it as a warped version of the smell of onions — definitely not expected when you’re talking about a dessert. This is why the answer to “does fudge need to be refrigerated?” is always yes if you plan to keep it around.
What Are the Consequences of Eating Expired Fudge?
While fudge isn’t one of the more infamous foods in this department, you should never consume something you have reason to think is expired. If nothing else, the taste will become rancid.
However, food poisoning has been recorded as a side effect of eating fudge that has gone bad. There have even been cases of hospitalization from it. You never want to take any chances when it comes to eating potentially spoiled food. If you’ve eaten some that felt questionable, and you start to experience any of the symptoms of food poisoning, you need to call a doctor immediately.
Trust your instincts. If you taste it and something feels off, throw it away. While wasting is never good, it’s the better choice if the alternative is getting sick.
1. Can Expired Fudge Be Restored?
We’ll have to be the bearers of bad news here. There is no such thing as restoring the quality of any food or drink once it has made that descent into becoming rotten. The only option is to throw it away. Really think about how much you’ll be able to eat before making or buying it.
2. Can I Extend Its Lifespan While Making It?
The most effective thing you can do to buy your dessert more time is to use evaporated milk while baking it. This is because it is resistant to the curdling and souring qualities of regular milk. Products made with this sort of milk will last significantly longer.
3. What Kind of Container Should I Use?
It isn’t only the question, “does fudge need to be refrigerated?” The “how” is just as important. To preserve it as long as possible, you’ll start by covering the dessert in plastic wrap. Then, create a “top coat” with aluminum foil. Secure this sealing by pressing hard enough to let the air out but not rush the treats. Then please, place them in either a food container or a plastic bag. This may seem like a lot of steps, but you’ll get to keep the fudge around much longer if you take them.
Does fudge need to be refrigerated? Not always, but that has to mean you finish it quickly. The more you make and the longer you see it taking for you to eat it all, the more care you’ll need to put into storing it. If you have to throw it away, you’ll be wasting time and money — not to mention missing out!
Fudge is a beautiful treat, but it has a shelf life that you must keep in mind when making it. There are things you can do to extend it dramatically, but even then, be mindful and be sure never to eat anything until you’ve checked it thoroughly for quality.