So, what's the deal with white chocolate? You might have heard someone say or read somewhere "it's not chocolate."
The restricted wording of "chocolate" is old news, but many websites still say it's not a legal confectionery term.
It is true that for years, white types, or vanilla, were required to use some other terminology such as vanilla coating, white coating, cocoa butter confectionery, or whatever, without using the word "chocolate."
It had a lot to do with the fact that "'chocolate' indicates the presence of cacao-derived ingredients" (fda.gov Food Labeling Nutrition). Cacao butter (natural vegetable fat) was the only connection to the technical term. Without the cacao, it simply isn't considered full-fledged chocolate. Is it then a candy making chocolate or vanilla coating?
In 1993, all that changed, when confectionery and chocolate industries petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an addition to the standards of identity.
Temporary Marketing Permits (TMP) were required in order to say "chocolate" on packaging labels, and while marketing the product. The TMP's turned into a burdensome process for both industries and the FDA.
The Final Rule allowing the change in standards of identity took place on October 2002, and was official January 2004.
The product now has to contain at least 20 percent cocoa fat (cocoa butter), and 14 percent milk solids and 3.5 percent milk fat, and not more than 55 percent sugar (sweeteners).
What's the difference now? No more TMP's are required by the FDA, and the new rule ensures economic fraud protection.
So, even though white chocolate is deemed the black sheep of the chocolate family, remember that the chocolate & confectionery industries worked diligently with the FDA to change the standards regarding labeling and marketing.
Before that, it was confusing at best, and not having the strict standards left the door wide open for companies to mislead us with shifty labeling regarding the white types of chocolate.
This chocolate type can have lecithin and flavoring such as vanilla and goes really well with all types of fruits like strawberries, cherries, oranges, raspberries, bananas, etc. White combined with caramel and nuts is really good too!
Here's a brief summary on how to melt it so you can get started making chocolate candy.
Need White Candy Making Chocolate For Tempering?
One Pound Or More
National Confectioners Association
Federal Register Final Rule - Establishment of a Standard of Identity
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