Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

White chocolate isn't chocolate, right?

Are you sure you want to commit to the statement? It's often quoted, but I don't agree - that is, as long as you're eating good quality white chocolate.


To start, good quality white chocolate contains more cocoa product than a popular brand of milk chocolate with purple branding. Likewise, it has more cocoa product than the milk chocolcate from a popular Swiss brand you find at the supermarket - yep, even though it's white.

Let's use one of the white chocolates we use at Fiamma as an example - Michel Cluizel Elianza Ivorie which has a whopping 33.5% cocoa product. Compare this to Cadury milk, which in Australia has only only 26% (the legal minimum cocoa to be called chocolate) or Lindt milk at 32%.

Plus, I can guarantee you Michel Cluizel is using better quality beans than both Cadbury and Lindt combined. If you've been following us for a while, you'll know we often talk about 'flavour beans'; that is the beans that make the most exceptional chocolate in the world. They represent just 2-5% of cocoa grown and neither Cadbury, nor Lindt, could ever imagine getting their hands on this stock. However, Michel Cluizel exclusively uses flavour beans to create their chocolate - white or otherwise.

So here's my point - good quality white chocolate has more cocoa product than popular milk chocolates and comes from much better quality beans - and yet we allow cheaper versions of chocolate to be termed 'chocolate' but want to think of white chocolate as another beast, and a lesser beast. I'm not convinced. I'm happy to say amazing quality white chocolate is chocolate!

So, what's the difference between white and milk chocolate?

Broadly speaking, a cocoa bean is made up of 50% cocoa solids and 50% cocoa butter.

Cocoa solids are the things that make chocolate look brown and taste like, well, like chocolate.

Cocoa butter is the fat in the cocoa bean and what makes chocolate snap when you break it and feel delectable when it melts in your mouth; and good chocolate has a high level of cocoa butter. Cheap chocolate doesn't.

Cocoa butter is expensive, and often sold to the cosmetics industry for good profit; so all mass producers of chocolate, white or otherwise, skimp on it to keep costs down. Which means most of our white chocolate experience has been product filled wtih cheap and nasty additives which has given white chocolate a bad rep, and enabled this myth that white chocolate isn't chocolate to perpetuate.

My advice - viva la white chocolate...but only if it's good quality!