The Secret History of White Chocolate

All the Whyser

Is white chocolate actually chocolate—and where did it come from in the first place? The answer involves the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, questionable pharmaceutical cookbooks, and children’s vitamins.

White Chocolate vs. Chocolate

First, let’s talk about chocolate. According to the Chicago Tribune, the cacao bean—the main ingredient of chocolate—contains about equal parts cocoa butter and cacao nibs. The cocoa butter provides the creamy, smooth mouthfeel of chocolate while the cacao nibs are responsible for the distinctive taste and aroma. Chocolate is made from both cocoa butter and cacao nibs, along with sugar and often milk. Per FDA regulations, chocolate must contain at least 10% cocoa mass to be labeled as chocolate. (Also called chocolate liquor, cocoa mass is the result of finely grinding cacao nibs and includes cocoa butter that is present in the cacao nibs.) White chocolate, on the other hand, is made from cocoa butter without the…

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