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Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

Mrunal Belvalkar Sep 1, 2020
No. White chocolate isn't really chocolate. So then what is white chocolate; and why is it still called 'chocolate'? Find out in this story.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
- Charles M. Schulz

As much as we all (almost all) like chocolate, some of us are unaware of the differences between dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
You may have tasted all three, but did you know that white chocolate isn't really chocolate? I used to wonder myself, 'Is white chocolate really chocolate? Well, it isn't. White chocolate, though we call it 'chocolate', is not really chocolate.
Before you begin speculating that statement, let me tell you, that is not just my opinion! The U.S Food and Drug Association also does not classify white chocolate as chocolate.
So what is white chocolate? Why is it still called 'chocolate'? How is it made? What is the difference between white chocolate and other types of chocolates? Find your answers as you read on.

White Chocolate Facts

1. Ingredients: Cocoa butter is the main ingredient. Other ingredients include milk, sugar (or other permitted nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners) and flavoring agents.
2. Nutrition: The nutritive value of the different white chocolate bars available in the market is different, depending on the ingredients. 1 oz serving Toblerone White Chocolate contains the following - 180 calories, 10g total fat (6g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 20g total carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 20g sugars), 2g protein, 6% calcium.
3. Food Label: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Association, a white chocolate product label must bear the term "white chocolate" or "white chocolate coating", whichever suits the product. Along with this, the label should also clearly mention if and which spices, flavoring agents and/or seasonings are added to the product

How is White Chocolate Made

Any chocolate - white, dark or milk - is made from cocoa beans. The beans are first harvested, then allowed to ferment for a week. They are then sun-dried or artificially dried. The beans are then shelled and ground. This gives a thick liquid paste known as chocolate liqueur.
The chocolate liqueur is then pressed to extract fat, known as cocoa butter. The leftover powder is called cocoa solids. 

According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a 'chocolate' should have cocoa solids as well as cocoa butter. However, white chocolate has only cocoa butter, and no cocoa solids. Hence, white chocolate isn't really 'chocolate'.
However, as the cocoa butter is derived from cocoa beans, it carries the aroma and flavor. That is why white chocolate still tastes like chocolate and is called 'chocolate'. 

The chocolate mix is then heated, cooled, and further processed to achieve desirable properties such as sheen, texture etc.
It is then cast into vessels to obtain the desired shape, packaged and sold.

Difference Between Different Types of Chocolates

White chocolate is quite different in taste, flavor, texture, and ingredients as compared to other chocolates. All types of chocolates, apart from white chocolate, contain chocolate liqueur. Usually the cocoa solids and cocoa butter are re-blended together. Rest of the steps remain the same.
Hence, any plain edible chocolate has cocoa solids and cocoa butter both. Unsweetened chocolate is obtained by simply re-blending cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Dark chocolate, however, has sugar and milk solids too.
The common types of chocolate are milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bitter chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, liqueur chocolate, and white chocolate (though they are not really chocolates).
Chocolates in general have plenty of health benefits. One of the biggest advantages of white chocolates is that they do not have caffeine, since they lack cocoa solids. However, being mostly cocoa butter alone, white chocolates are in fact, fattening.
But then aren't most desirable things in life fattening? A moment on your lips, forever on your hips! Still, people love to indulge in white chocolates. As long as you don't over-indulge, I think it's fine!