The Scary Truth About White Chocolate

Curious about that stuff they call white chocolate? Well, the truth is out there, and in this article we'll track it down.

If you've ever had your doubts about white chocolate, you're not alone. Delicious and creamy it may be, but chocolate? Well...maybe. But shouldn't it be brown? And where's that theobromine bite, that caffeine kick? Inquiring minds want to know.

After exhaustive and painstaking research, we here at Extreme Chocolate can confirm that the naysayers have reason to be suspicious. Join us, and we'll explore the reality of a favorite choco-treat that's so extreme that it is, in fact, not really chocolate at all.

Strikes One and Two

First of all, white chocolate isn't actually white; it's an ivory shade. If you see something pure white that's advertized as chocolate, then the manufacturer is full of it (and we don't mean chocolate here). What you're seeing is actually a "confectioner's coating" made from (yuck!) solid or hydrogenated vegetable fats.

So the real thing's not white, but is it chocolate? Nope, although it's a near cousin, since it's made primarily from cocoa butter. But neither chocolate liquor nor cocoa is used in its manufacture, so it's not truly chocolate. No cocoa means no theobromine, and what better defines chocolate than theobromine?

Yer Out

Since it lacks "cocoa mass," it's against the law to market white chocolate as true chocolate in many countries. That seals the deal right there as, far as we're concerned: no matter what you call it, it ain't chocolate any more than a guinea pig is swine. To be accurate, you'd have to call it a cocoa butter snack.

Even where the term is legal, there are strict standards governing its labeling. In the USA, your cocoa butter snack (no matter what you care to call it), has to be at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and 3.5% milk fat, with no more than 55% sweeteners. Anything else is up to the manufacturer.

Eh, What the Heck?!?

The fact is, we've been eating white chocolate since just after World War I, when it was first introduced in Europe. It migrated to American shores within the year, and became particularly popular after 1948. And no, there's never been any chocolate in it -- not one bit.

And so what? While we do retain our love for the dark stuff, the best "white" offers a subtle, creamy flavor that's appealing even to us chocolate extremos. And hey -- without the theobromine and caffeine, you don't even have to worry about getting addicted!

So despite a little uneasiness due to its unnatural paleness, allow us to assure you that we won't stop eating it anytime soon. We just wanted to set the record straight about what white chocolate really is, okay?

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