In Defense of White Chocolate

By definition, chocolate must contain at least two things to be considered Chocolate: cacao solids and cacao butter. To review briefly, solids and butter are both present in the cacao bean, solids give chocolate it's taste, cacao butter gives it the characteristic texture.

So let us examine white chocolate, the least loved of the chocolate family. White chocolate, though it behaves like a chocolate in look and feel and texture, contains zero cacao solids. It does contain a hefty amount of cacao butter, but if we're being strict, that means that White Chocolate doesn't meet the criteria to be considered chocolate at all. Truly the red headed stepchild of the chocolate family.

But let us not be too hard on white chocolate truly, because not all chocolate is created equally. If we look at Hershey Chocolates, we'll find a similar dilemma. Hershey's Recipe for Chocolate does not contain cacao butter, but instead substitutes it with various shortening. The result is a inexpensive imitation of chocolate that is a far cry from the "real thing".

Hershey doesn't use cacao butter, because cacao butter is the most expensive part of chocolate. Even though a cacao bean is roughly equal parts butter and solids, cacao butter is a valuable commodity in everything from pharmaceutical to skin care products. As such, a chocolate manufacturer can often make a better profit selling cacao butter straight, rather than mix it into chocolate.

It seems counterintuitive then, that people would make white chocolate, using just the most valuable part of chocolate, and yet the price of white chocolate is similar to the milk and dark chocolate bars it sits next to.

Cheap white chocolate uses very little cacao butter, as little as they can get away with. So with no cacao solids and only a little cacao butter, the rest of the bar is a grab bag of milk, sugar, preservatives, shortening, and other chemicals to make the mixture behave like a chocolate bar.

A person who says they don't like white chocolate has probably only encountered these chemical rich sugar bars you can find on the bottom of candy shelves across America.

This is not all that white chocolate has to offer, and if you pass on high quality white chocolate you're missing out on an incredible experience l

Askinosie White Chocolate with Pistachios

Askinosie is a company that really understands quality chocolate. With a selection of impressively sourced chocolate bars, it's no surprise that they've created a similarly high quality white chocolate bar. For the white chocolate pistachio bar, they use cacao butter sourced from the Philippines, high quality cream, and sugar. The bar is my personal benchmark for white chocolate, it has a warm flavor that would feel at home alongside freshly baked confections. It is very creamy, that goes without saying, but the pistachios add a bit of saltiness and flavor that keep it from being overwhelming. The simple compliment of cacao butter and pistachios is incredibly vibrant. Cacao butter can be much smoother than dairy, while simultaneously letting the strength of the pistachio carry through.

20130725-140059.jpgTea Room Chamomile and Honey The Tea Room takes a unique twist on white chocolate with their signature tea infusion. The cacao butter heavy foundation sets a perfect backdrop for the herbal tea taste. The chocolate remains light and moist, and blends perfectly with the honey flavor.

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