Categorized | Chocolate 101

Is White Chocolate Actually Chocolate?

There are quite a few differences between white chocolate and other chocolates, the most noteworthy being that white chocolate contains no cocoa solids or chocolate liquor.  This actually removes it from the “chocolate” category by FDA standards, but it’s still considered chocolate by many because of its cocoa butter content.  For it to still be considered “white chocolate” by the FDA, at least 20% of its weight must be made up of cocoa butter.

More of a confection than anything else, white chocolate is made up of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids.  Lecithin and other flavourings, such as vanilla, may be present in white chocolate, but you won’t find any chocolate liquor.  It offers none of the nutritional benefits that come with eating dark chocolate, but in many opinions, the lack of cocoa solids makes it no less tasty!

Another huge difference between chocolate and white chocolate is its complete lack of chocolaty brown colour.  The more milk that is added to pure chocolate the lighter it gets, which is why milk chocolate shades can vary so much from dark chocolate.  However having no cocoa solids at all, a creamy looking ivory shade is achieved.

In the production of white chocolate the cocoa butter may be deodorized to remove the strong cocoa taste that may be cherished in the darker varieties.  Because no cocoa solids are present, the caffeine and theobromine contents are also greatly reduced.

While white chocolate may seem like an imitation of its cocoa solids containing cousin, imitations of white chocolate can also be found as white compound chocolate.  This is a confection that is made up of the same ingredients as white chocolate, but the cocoa butter is substituted for vegetables fats.  Because no cocoa butter is present, an actual “white” colour can be accomplished rather than the creamier off-white of real white chocolate.

Despite its potential health benefits, not everyone is a lover of the bitter, dark chocolate flavour as it’s more of an acquired taste.  Most people enjoy milk chocolate but not everyone’s an enthusiast.  However, if utterly sweet and sinful sounds like your type of treat you’re probably an avid indulger of white chocolate.

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