Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

White chocolate has always been viewed as the lesser chocolate because it just doesn’t stand up to the decadence of dark or milk chocolates, and its sweetness is deceiving and somewhat waxy.  In fact many will argue the white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all.  And those that argue this are in fact true!  White chocolate is not actually “real” chocolate and I will tell you why!

First let’s start with where chocolate actually comes from, the cocoa bean.  Chocolate nib is extracted from the cocoa bean and ground down into a paste called chocolate liquor (no there isn’t actually real alcohol in this).  From there the liquor is separated into 2 parts, cocoa solids and cocoa fats.  Cocoa solids are where the actual flavor comes from in chocolate.  It’s what gives it that rich decadent taste we all crave so much.  On the other hand cocoa fats or what we call cocoa butter doesn’t actually have any flavor at all.  So now we have these two parts and the chocolate process begins.  While dark chocolate and milk chocolate bars have both cocoa butter and cocoa solids in them white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids whatsoever.  The FDA actually only requires white chocolate to contain 20% cocoa butter in order to be labeled as chocolate.  In turn the FDA deems white chocolate as a “solid semi plastic food” and we are eating that!!!  Because the cocoa butter is absolutely flavorless, white chocolate must get it’s flavor from different additives such as sweeteners, whey, dairy products, spices and other emulsifying agents!  In fact white chocolate can even be made by you at home with just 3 ingredients.  If you take cocoa butter, powdered milk and powdered sugar combine them together and put them in your microwave you will have made your own white chocolate!

So you decide what chocolate team you are on White Vs. Dark/Milk Chocolate, because there really seems to be no in between when it comes to liking both.  The fact that the FDA deems white chocolate as a semi plastic food is scary enough in it’s own right, however there are some delicious desserts to be eaten that do include white chocolate.   

Another interesting fact about this great chocolate debate is that while cocoa butter lends no chocolate flavor to any chocolate it is actually the only thing between cocoa beans and itself that actually carries the aroma of chocolate.  That’s right.  Cocoa beans have no chocolate aroma at all while cocoa butter has the distinct smell of delicious milk chocolate!

It is up to you to decide what chocolate you prefer and what you deem as actual real chocolate.  But the verdict is in and white chocolate doesn’t really stack up to that of dark/milk chocolate delights we all have come to enjoy so much.