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Types of chocolate; What are the 4 varieties of chocolate?

ByTheodoros Papageorgiou

May 12, 2022

Well, I am sure that you have heard of chocolate before opening this article. However, today, we will go one step further and check out the different types of chocolate. Have you ever asked yourselves the question of how many types of chocolate exist? If you walk into a chocolate store, or just a supermarket your options of chocolate varieties will be numerous. However, the number of the types of chocolate that exist is 4. So, let’s take a look at them.1.

1. White chocolate

White chocolate is easy to distinguish because of its white color. In order to make it we combine sugar, cocoa butter, milk, and vanilla. These ingredients give white chocolate its sweet vanilla taste. White chocolate a has unique flavor profile. It is sweet, with a little bit of sweetened milk and vanilla. Good quality white chocolate will have a rich, soft, and creamy texture. This is a characteristic that comes from its cocoa butter base and high sugar and milk content.

On the other hand, many people will ask if white chocolate is truly chocolate. This happens because there are no cocoa solids in the white chocolate. (As a rule, in order for something to be chocolate its main ingredients should be cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Depending on the proportions of cocoa, the type of chocolate also changes). However, for the making of white chocolate, we use cocoa butter. This gives the chocolate its white color as there are no solids in the production process. White chocolate still must contain at least 20% cocoa butter to be considered a chocolate product (FDA).

Fun fact; cocoa butter is expensive because there is a high demand from the cosmetics industry since they use it to make lotions and beauty products.

2. Milk chocolate

Milk chocolate is the most classic of all types of chocolate. It is the most widely distributed type of chocolate and therefore the most popular. In order to make it we combine chocolate liquor (cocoa solids and cocoa butter) with sugar and milk. The percentage of cocoa required varies by region, with the US requiring a concentration of only 10% cocoa, while the EU requires 25%. Milk chocolate has a flavor that we can describe as sweet and creamy, with a little bit of milk and caramelized sugar. Milk chocolate is the middle of the road chocolate.  It is characteristically sweeter, with a softer texture than dark chocolate, but not as sweet and soft as white chocolate.

3. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is the closest form to pure cocoa. In many regions, it is also known as plain chocolate because not as many additives are included. The fat content does not come from added milk. It comes from cocoa butter, giving it a purer flavor that is closer to the cocoa bean. In the US, there are two main forms of dark chocolate – semisweet and bittersweet. Semisweet chocolate has less sugar and a sweeter flavor, while bittersweet chocolate is more bitter. Both are often used for cooking but can be eaten as is, and both are required to contain at least 35% pure cocoa. The flavor profile of dark chocolate can vary because of the quantity of the cocoa content. It is often slightly sweet and chocolatey. Due to its chocolate-forward flavor profile, dark chocolate is great for baking when your recipe needs a rich, chocolatey flavor.

There is also couverture dark chocolate, which is used for many professional applications. Popular in Europe, couverture chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa butter, and professionals use it for dipping, molding, and coating. Also, Dark chocolate is famous for having health benefits. Thus, it can be a preferable snack among health-conscious consumers.

Types of chocolate; 4. Ruby chocolate

types of chocolate

And last but not least, we have the newest addition to the chocolate family. The Ruby Chocolate. In 2017, Barry Callebaut, a Belgian-Swiss cocoa company, discovered this fourth type of chocolate. The group had been working on the new form of chocolate since 2004. Ruby chocolate comes from a special bean known as the ruby cocoa bean, which is a rare variety of the standard cocoa bean. The manufacturing process gives the chocolate a pink hue, and the flavor is a combination of sweet and sour. Some people find that there is a hint of raspberry flavor, but raspberries are not required in production. While it still tastes like chocolate, it is markedly different from the other three types. Right now, this is the most difficult kind of chocolate to find as the method of production is still a trade secret.

Interesting facts about the types of chocolate

types of chocolate
  • Making chocolate is a long process that begins far before the local chocolate shop or grocery store. It actually begins with the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree, also known as cacao beans. The beans from the tree are dried and roasted. Then, the roasted beans after processing them, result in two products: cocoa butter, a smooth, solid, white fat; and chocolate liquor, or ground cocoa beans.
  • Chocolate is a product of cacao beans that grow in pod-like fruits on tropical cacao trees. The cacao tree is a part of the family Malvaceae, which includes members like okra and cotton. So, one can say chocolates are indirectly vegetables.
  • The different types of chocolate all come down to the percentage of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor the chocolate contains. As compared to the percentage of sugar, milk solids, and other ingredients.
  • Chocolates and cocoa products may be dangerous for your pet as it contains a toxic component called theobromine. While humans can easily metabolize this component, it takes time for the pets to process, which only builds up to the toxicity.
  • It takes about a year for a cocoa tree to produce enough pods to make about 10 small-sized chocolate bars. Cacao trees may live up to 200 years. However, interestingly, they produce beans for just 25 years of their lifespan.
  • According to a report published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, chocolate milk provides carbohydrate replenishment to your muscles.

Learn more fun facts about chocolate by clicking here.

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