Is White Chocolate *Actually* Real Chocolate?

If you ask serious chocolate fanatics what their thoughts are on white chocolate, you’ll probably get a wide range of answers. Many dismiss it as a bit of an outlier, and we get why! When compared to the rich, bitter flavor of dark chocolate or the creamy, smooth flavor of milk chocolate, white chocolate just doesn’t seem all that, well… chocolatey.

But around here, we think white chocolate is great! In fact, we love ever sweet melty morsel that’s used in Ree Drummond’s fabulous white hot chocolate and peppermint bark. White chocolate works so well in combination with other types of chocolate, too, creating a perfect balance in your favorite chocolate desserts, like triple chocolate cookies.

Of course, the biggest debate isn’t really if white chocolate is delicious, because it is! But many chocolate purists argue that it shouldn’t be considered chocolate at all, leaving many to wonder what is white chocolate anyway? Let’s dive into all the sweet details, so you can settle the argument once and for all and get back to what’s really important: finding reasons to eat more chocolate.

what is white chocolate

David Malosh

What is white chocolate?

White chocolate is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter. Just like other chocolates, white chocolate starts with cacao beans. During the refinement process, the beans are crushed, ground, and separated into cocoa butter and chocolate nibs. Milk and dark chocolates contain the nibs, but white chocolate only has the cocoa butter. Other ingredients, like sugar and milk, are added for even more richness and flavor.

First introduced in 1936 by Nestlé, white chocolate is a relatively recent phenomenon. This sweet confection is used for chocolate bars, cookies, cakes, and other decadent desserts. And while white chocolate may have existed in earlier years, it was first mass produced as a way to use up leftover milk powder in the aftermath of World War I.

Is white chocolate actually real chocolate?

Despite what you may have heard, white chocolate is, in fact, a type of chocolate. Sure, it might not have a chocolatey look or taste, but white chocolate does contain cocoa butter, which is the key to proving that white chocolate is real chocolate after all. According to the FDA, for white chocolate to be considered “real” it must contain no less than 20% of cocoa butter. When shopping for white chocolate in the store, check the packaging and ingredients to ensure you’re getting real, good-quality white chocolate. It makes all the difference!

What does white chocolate taste like?

If you’ve never tried white chocolate before, you’re in for a sweet treat! The creamy, luxurious chocolate has a buttery flavor with hints of vanilla and fresh cream. It’s delicious when used in these red velvet cookies with white chocolate chips.

Is white chocolate healthy?

White chocolate isn’t particularly healthy, especially if you’re comparing it to dark chocolate verses milk chocolate. The healthy parts of the cocoa bean like antioxidants are found mostly in the cocoa solids, meaning the nibs. Since white chocolate only has cocoa butter, you’re missing out on those benefits. But have no fear! Cocoa butter does contain some healthy fatty acids. So while it isn’t considered particularly healthy, it isn’t all terrible either. Like any sweet treat, simply enjoy it in moderation.

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