White Chocolate is a food product which is derived from Chocolate. Unlike dark, semi-sweet (a.k.a. bitter-sweet), and milk chocolate, white chocolate does not actually contain any cocoa powder or chocolate liquor. Rather, cocoa butter is usually used (although vegetable fat can be used instead), along with milk solids and sugar. Because of this absence of cocoa, many do not even consider white chocolate to be chocolate. However, it is legally declared as a chocolate product in multiple areas, including the United States, so by law such a claim is not true in these places.
There is some debate as to who created white chocolate, but its history goes back at least to the 1930s, when Nestlé began selling a white chocolate bar called MilkyBar in Europe. This was primarily an attempt to use their excess, unused cocoa butter. Although this is the first commercial release of white chocolate, the actual inventor of the product remains unknown.
In 1945, White chocolate came to the United States thanks to Kuno Baedeker. Baedeker is sometimes called the incentor of white chocolate, but this claim is not true. White chocolate did exist prior to his development of this product. He learned about it originally in Europe, and decided to create his own.
For some time, white chocolate was not regulated. This tended to result in many cheap products with very little cocoa butter. However, there are now regulations in the U.S. which require:
- 20% cocoa butter
- 14% total milk solids
- 3.5% milk fat
- no more than 55% sweetener
The European Union has also set in place the same basic rules, except they do not limit the sugar content. This means the although European chocolate is considered to have better quality, this is less likely to be true with white chocolate.