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Apr 21, 2007 08:44 AM

Is 'White Chocolate' Really Chocolate?

Or is it mere some sweet sugar concoction invented by confectioners? I've tried some and it sure doesn't taste like chocolate.

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  1. It is not technically chocolate as it doesn't contain chocolate liquor which is the material resulting from the fermentation and further processing of the cacao bean. Good quality WC will have cacao butter but as it is expensive, poorer quality WC may contain other, cheaper fats. The moral here is to learn to love good dark chocolate!

    1 Reply
    1. Some countries consider it chocolate because it is made from cocoa butter and some countries not because it doesn't contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor.

      The problem with white chocolate as stated in this wiki article is "Some "white chocolate" is made from inexpensive solid or hydrogenated vegetable fats, and as such, is not at all derived from cocoa. These preparations may actually be white in color (in contrast to white chocolate's ivory shade) and will lack cocoa butter's flavor"

      I like white chocolate made from cocoa butter. The other stuff is a horror. I'd call the stuff from cocoa butter chocolate because it is coming from the cacoa bean. But then again, I consider a Hershey bar chocolate ... another topic on the board.

      1. There is "real" white chocolate, which is sort-of real chocolate in that it comes from the same cacao beans as regular chocolate. It contains just the fat, the cocoa butter, which provides chocolate's unique mouth feel. There is no chocolate liquor, which ends up in the brown stuff we usually think of as chocolate.

        Most "white chocolate" has little or no real cocoa butter and is typically (though not necessarily) awful. It can contain any kind of fat. So can brown chocolate, but brown chocolate without cocoa butter can't be called "chocolate" in most of the world.

        I once toured the Hershey plant. Disappointment 1: it was an amusement park ride rather than a working chocolate factory. Disappointment 2: the brown bars given as free samples were labeled "candy" because they didn't actually contain any real cocoa butter.

        4 Replies
        1. re: embee

          In the U.S., at least, white chocolate must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter.

          1. re: mpalmer6c

            Good to know. I figured there had to be some such stipulation because the Ghirardelli white chips are not called chocolate (although the word appears as part of the Ghirardelli brand name!). I've posted about this before because I am a cocoa butter/real white chocolate fan and I was so pissed off by this product. Contains no chocolate or cocoa butter at all, but costs the same as their 60% cocoa dark chips. I actually found the taste of them okay (disguised in an already sweet and junky cranberry bliss bar clone that I made), but they burned like crazy and wouldn't melt at all either - so I see no reason they were not made with cocoa butter other than as a cost-savings.

          2. re: embee

            "White chocolate was introduced in the 1930’s by the Nestlé Company. It is a blend of cocoa butter, sugar or other sweetener, vanilla, and soy lecithin as an emulsifier. White chocolate contains no cocoa solids (chocolate liquor). For many years, white chocolate was not classified as chocolate but as confectionary. The old U.S. Standards of Identity stated that in order to be called chocolate, a product must contain chocolate liquor [the brown stuff]. The Standards of Identity were amended in 2002 [guess which company petitioned the FDA to do this] to allow white chocolate to be called chocolate if, among other requirements, it is made from a minimum of 20% cocoa butter. When it was not officially “chocolate,” many manufacturers, especially of mass-market white chocolate, used vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter, and the taste difference is significant. Some people who say they do not like “white chocolate” may never have tasted the real thing. Real white chocolate is rich and creamy and tastes like chocolate. In addition to the minimum 20% cocoa butter, to be called white chocolate, the product must have a minimum of 15% milk powder and a maximum of 55% sweetener. Any other formulation must still be called confectionary or summer coating. When a white chocolate bar has a percentage on the label similar to a cacao bar, e.g. 33%, it is not referring to the percentage of cacao in the bar (as there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate) but to the percentage of cocoa butter. The higher the percentage of cocoa butter, the richer and creamier the bar."

            Though *technically* white choc isn't choc b/c of the lack of "brown stuff." Which isn't to say it isn't enjoyable. Amedei and Lindt get good reviews.

            1. re: embee

              The reason they don't let you into the real chocolate factory is that at one point they did and people were slobs and doing things to contaminate the chocolate.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. i dunno, is a chunk of fat a steak?