What Are the Four Types of Chocolate?
Chocolate is a delicious treat that people enjoy throughout the world. The word chocolate doesn’t just encapsulate a single item, as there are many different types of chocolate products, all of which are significantly different. However, there are four main categories, so let’s take a look at the four types of chocolate.
Milk Chocolate is the most widely distributed type of chocolate, and it describes a specific type with certain percentages. It starts with solid chocolate and then has milk added in liquid, powdered, or condensed form. 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 creamier, milder taste which is very popular in the United States. Many chocolate bars are made with a milk chocolate base.
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 comes not from added milk but from cocoa butter, giving it a purer flavor that is closer in profile 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.
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 is often used for dipping, molding, and coating.
White Chocolate, like milk chocolate, contains a significant amount of milk and added sugar. The difference, however, is that there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate. The only cocoa product used is cocoa butter. This gives the chocolate its white color as there are no solids involved in the production process. White chocolate still must contain at least 20% cocoa butter to be considered a chocolate product. It has a sweeter, milder taste than milk and dark chocolate, and often uses extra ingredients such as vanilla for added flavor.
The newest addition to the chocolate family is that of Ruby Chocolate, released a few years ago in 2017 by Barry Callebaut. The company had been working on the new form of chocolate since 2004. It is made 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.