Monday, May 21, 2012

Is white chocolate REALLY chocolate?

White chocolate has its fans and its detractors. Most people, when you mention white chocolate in the same sentence as milk or dark, are quick to pipe up that white chocolate isn’t REAL chocolate. So is it? What makes it different? Today my friends, prepare to learn something that may come in handy the next time you’re at a cocktail party.
White chocolate is made with cocoa butter, which comes from the cocoa bean, so it is obviously RELATED to other forms of chocolate. Perhaps the poor cousin of it’s darker relatives? Cocoa butter, which has a slight chocolate flavour, is blended with milk, sugar and other flavours to produce what we refer to as white chocolate.
It’s prepared in the same way as darker chocolates, by heating and tempering the chocolate to create white chocolate treats and has increased in popularity in recent years. You can find white chocolate chips in the grocery store for baking and most chocolate shops have some white chocolate offerings.
On the upside, for those who have issues with caffeine in chocolate, the caffeine is found in the cocoa solids which are not used in white chocolate, therefore it is caffeine free. As well, the cocoa butter used to make white chocolate is a very stable fat which has a long shelf-life and contains several good-for-you antioxidants. (Yay, another reason to eat chocolate.)
However, be a savvy shopper. Some companies refer to items as white chocolate but they are actually created with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter and the quality is much lower. Check those ingredient labels on supermarket offerings.
What’s your opinion on white chocolate? Yay or nay?

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