Caveat Emptor: Know Your Chocolate
According to Newsweek, a class-action lawsuit has recently been filed by bakers against Nestlé over their product labeled “Premier White Morsels.” The reason for the suit? Nestlé implicitly markets the Morsels as white chocolate, despite not containing the minimum required amount of cocoa butter to be consider as white chocolate by the Food & Drug Administration.
For a product to be considered white chocolate by the FDA, the product must have a minimum of 20% cocoa butter.
However, the aforementioned lawsuit alleges that the Morsels product is located on the shelves of stores next to products that do contain chocolate and leads reasonable consumers to believe that the Morsels also have cocoa butter which they do not. Hydrogenated oils are used instead and behave very differently in the baking process. They also have the additional benefit to Nestlé in being much cheaper to use.
Guided Chocolate Tasting Events = Chocolate Education
As a sociologist-turned-chocolatier, I am obsessed with sharing information about chocolate so that we can all learn as much as we can about our beloved treat. When customers come in throughout the day, on any given day, I hope that they take away something new that they learned while they sip or nibble our offerings.
But the education dial gets turned up to 11 during our Guided Chocolate Tasting Events!
We talk about how chocolate is made, where it comes from, who is involved with the process, how various chocolate multinational companies’ chocolate is vastly different from companies such as Chocolates El Rey, and we have a fun time tasting chocolate throughout the event!
One thing we often discuss is white chocolate and it is often the conversation topic that splits a room into mortal enemies! Heated debates occur when discussing the virtues (or evils) of white chocolate, but I will interrupt the conversation to reveal that what most people encounter throughout their lives thinking is white chocolate is frequently something much like Nestlé’s “Premier White Morsels.”
Which is to say, not white chocolate!
Quality White Chocolate
High quality white chocolate will make all the difference in your baking and eating. Find a white chocolate that contains good quality cocoa butter and less additional ingredients that are meant to mask the flavor of lower quality oils that are added to extend cocoa butter. Icoa, the white chocolate we use from Chocolates El Rey, contains 34% cocoa butter and has no additives. Milk solids, sugar, vanilla extract, and soy lecithin along with the cocoa butter are the only ingredients that make up the formula and the cocoa butter is not deodorized, leaving a rich, ivory color that isn’t bleached white. Even folx who are skeptical of white chocolate will confess having their perspectives broadened by tasting Icoa!
Stop by Queer Chocolatier to taste a piece of Icoa white chocolate and sign up for our next Guided Chocolate Tasting Event in October! And mark your calendars for December for when we launch our White Chocolate Peppermint Truffle for the Winter Seasonal flavor!