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Weeks ago I made a chutney of local ground cherries with onions and raisins. It came out very syrupy but I figured it will still be good in small doses with meats.

I was recently on vacation when hurricane sandy hit our east coast home -luckily nothing major occurred to our home-, and we were without power for several days. Anyway, I got back yesterday and noticed today that my chutney is not totally frozen.

I'm wondering

  • If chutney can spoil in the freezer if not totally frozen, and also what would cause the chutney to not completely freeze?
  • What are the signs of a spoiled half frozen chutney?

Any thoughts are welcome, thank you :)

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I'm glad nothing too bad happened to your home, and I hope neither happened anything bad to the people arround you (you dind't mention it, but I guess nothing bad happened). I understand your feelings, but may I suggest removing the phrase related to the hurricane? It is not relevant to the facts you are asking, and, without it, the question would be more clear. It can be added as a comment to the question, to explain the circunstances. – J.A.I.L. Nov 19 '12 at 11:11

It's doubtful that you'll get any spoilage in your freezer. Not much grows at -20°C, with or without liquid. Your chutney is likely not freezing because of its high sugar content: Freezing Point Depression. That's perfectly normal behavior.

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Also, is the whole point of chutneys that they are so high in acid and sugar that they preserve very well? Not even sure why you'd freeze it in the first place if you'd sealed the chutney in sterilised containers. – Stefano Nov 19 '12 at 16:44

I make large batches of chutney that I then store in a cryovac bag and keep them in my refrigerator. They last forever. Really, I think I have one that is at least a year old. Other than that, wayfaring stranger is correct about the freezing. It also applies to chocolate sauce and caramel sauce.

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We talk about freezing but, really, the benefits come from the low temperature, not from the change from liquid to solid. When you put things in the freezer, it doesn't matter whether they become solid or not: it just matters that they get cold.

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