September 22: Happy National White Chocolate Day!4 min read
Originally written on September 22, 2021. Updated 2022
When most people think of chocolate, they think of the classic brown color of milk or dark chocolate.
However, during the process of making, there’s a point when two options are available: the rich dark of traditional chocolate, or the path of white chocolate.
White Chocolate Day is the perfect opportunity to learn about the origins of this delicious treat.
And It seems that this day has been created so that we can celebrate it, and for eat it as much as we want without feeling guilty!
Sounds fantastic, right?
Since white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, it is not chocolate in the strictest sense.
White chocolate is made from milk solids, sugar, and cocoa butter and, during the process of manufacturing chocolate, the dark-colored solids of the cocoa bean separates from the fatty content.
But unlike milk or dark chocolate, the solids are not reincorporated.
There are regulations in place that govern what can and cannot be marketed as white chocolate, same standards across both the United States and the European Union.
To be classified as white chocolate, the chocolate needs to be a minimum of the following by weight: 3.5% milk fat, 14% total milk solids, and 20% cocoa butter.
In the United States, they also have a provision that states that the product is not allowed to include more than 55% of sweeteners, such as sugar.
In any case, chocolate has been around a very long time, it’s consumption as a beverage reaching back to 1900 BCE by the Mesoamericans, and was considered sacred to Quetzocoatl. During the Aztec empire it was so valuable that it was even used as a form of currency. It was in fact the expected form of payment for the taxes levied on the people they ruled.
It wasn’t until Christopher Columbus visited the New World for the 4th time in 1502 that chocolate was brought back to the UK, and the rest is history.
For all the time between then and 1930, the classic brown chocolate was all they knew and used, it had taken on a million forms, but it was still all the same color.
All of that changed in 1930 when in Europe Nestlé invented Galak, rebranded as the MilkyBar in English-speaking countries. White Chocolate was the result of separating the dark solids from the rich fat of the bean known as cocoa butter, a natural part of the manufacturing process, but instead of recombining them, the cocoa butter was left on its own. And ever since, It’s been an incredibly popular treat.
In 1945 a new version is created in the U.S., where Kuno Baedeker developed a white chocolate while working for the Merckens Chocolate Company, which still makes chocolate today (and incidentally, also markets other sweet treats like Black Chocolate Wafers).
Of course, the best way to celebrate White Chocolate Day is to indulge in some delicious white chocolate!
You can find it in a myriad of different forms, including truffles, bars, and even white chocolate in the drinkable form.
And moreover, it fulfills one simple but critical need: what to pair with macadamia nuts!
And, if you are feeling a bit creative, you may decide to make your own white chocolate. All you need to do is a quick search online and you will see that there are plenty of recipes. But there are also lots of great white chocolate-based recipes as well if you’re looking to indulge in something a little bit different such as white chocolate cakes, white chocolate cheesecake, but also white chocolate and pistachio profiteroles.
And if, instead of your usual non-fat, no-sugar-or-cream coffee you dutifully make each morning, just for this one day, you try melting a few white chocolate chips into a steaming cup of cocoa for a delicious alternative? You’ll thank yourself (and me) when your usual coffee tastes better than ever.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Excuse me while I mix up some cookies. With macadamia nuts.
And I drink a coffee….
Images from web – Google Research