White Chocolate: Pale Confection

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A square of white chocolate.

Is white chocolate really chocolate?

Well, the simple answer is yes...and no.

Technically and legally it is chocolate according to the Food and Drug Administration.

But it doesn't have any cocoa in it.  What?  It doesn't contain the main ingredient?

So why is it called chocolate then?

Good question. Because it contains cocoa butter from cocoa beans.

Cocoa beans are the source of chocolate. So it's a member of the family, even though it lacks the most delicious element.

Well, they had to call it something. 

Calling it sweetened and flavored cocoa fat is just not as appetizing!


What's in white chocolate? How is it made?

Cocoa butter is mixed with one or more dairy ingredients (cream, butter, or milk) and sugar.

The lack of brown cocoa solids are the reason it's white.

Other flavors may be added as long as they don't simulate the flavor of butter, milk, or chocolate.

Those are the ingredients needed to comply with the FDA's standard of identity rule. Want to learn more go to types of chocolate.

Why a Standard of Identity Rule?

There was some confusion that needed clearing up.  Seems almost anything could be called white chocolate.

The three main problems were...

  • too many names for similar confections
  • the potential for substitution of cheaper fats for cocoa butter
  • the need for consistency with international standards to increase foreign sales

The FDA was petitioned.

On January 1, 2004 a standard of identity for this pale confection took effect.

Now everyone knew what was in the colorless candy.

But is it Really Chocolate?

Yes, the government has declared it so because it contains cocoa butter. And like chocolate, it has caffeine but not as much.

But no it isn't, at least not to dark chocoholics.

Just because the government waived its magic wand doesn't make it the real thing.

C'mon with no cocoa, that ain't chocolate.

That's sweetened and flavored fat! No offense, but yuck. Plus it's way too sweet.

Take no offense cocoa-less chocolate lovers.  To each his own!

I will admit you can really taste the cocoa butter.

Ok, it's legally chocolate. But it pales in comparison to dark chocolate. Secretly, I'm happy there's no cocoa in it. That stuff is in short supply. So save it for those of us who really appreciate it.

Return to What is Dark Chocolate?

Return to Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate Home Page

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