Everybody loves chocolate! Chocolate is one of the most loved food items in the world and there are so, so many types that you can choose from. They are so versatile; you can use them for any occasion, anytime, anywhere. There’s something for everyone. The best part? They go with everything. From marshmallows to saltedpistachios – the combinations are endless.
So, before we discuss the different types of chocolate, let’s first talk about some of the most astonishing facts regarding this favorite guilty pleasure of ours:
- In order to make one pound of chocolate, it takes 400 beans of cocoa.
- Cocoa beans come from cacao trees and each tree produces around 2,500 beans.
- Contrary to popular belief, according to research, chocolate can be consumed and included in a healthy, balanced diet
- 30% of cocoa crop is lost each year due to the cacao trees being so delicate.
- One of the biggest producers of cocoa, West Africa has around 1.5 million cocoa farms.
- West Africa is tremendously rich with cocoa as 70% of all cocoa comes from there.
- The average size of a cocoa farm in West Africa is between 7-10 acres.
- Cacao trees produce consumable and marketable cocoa beans for the first 25 years of their lives even though some have a lifespan of over 200 years.
- 40-50 million people, globally, depend on cocoa as their source of livelihood.
- “Cocoa” in Spanish is pronounced as “Cacao”.
So, now that we have these interesting facts out of the way, let’s talk about some of the different types of chocolates:
1. Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate is one of the most common types of chocolate. Everybody loves them. The markets are flooded with them and we can’t get enough of it. Their creamy texture, light brown color coupled with a sweet taste make them everybody’s favorite.
They’re made by combining cocoa butter and cocoa solids (Chocolate Liquor) with milk and sugar. It’s a go-to chocolate that anybody can enjoy, irrespective of their age.
2. White Chocolate
White chocolate is easily recognizable with its ivory or cream color. Made with cocoa butter, milk, vanilla, sugar, and lecithin – this delicious treat has the ability to lighten up your day instantly. White chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa solids which give chocolate the dark brown color that we all associate it with.
Cocoa butter, an integral ingredient of white chocolate, is also used in beauty products like lotions and soaps, etc.
3. Dark Chocolate
The second most popular type of chocolate, Dark chocolate has a recognizable deep brown color that catches your attention instantly. Unlike milk chocolate, it’s considerably low in the sweetness department and is also referred to as black chocolate. The reason of its popularity can be derived from the many health studies that promote its benefits.
Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, helps improve blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of a heart attack, among many other benefits.
4. Semisweet Chocolate
Semisweet chocolate is a popular choice for baking chocolate chip cookies. They can also be used to make other delicacies as well. There are more and more distinctions being made with chocolate labelling these days. Perhaps because consumers prefer to know the cocoa percentages instead of just the names.
Their sweetness level depends on the brand that you’re buying it from.
5. Bittersweet chocolate
Bittersweet chocolate is also referred as extra-dark chocolate and its popularity can be deduced from health-related articles that encourage people to consume dark chocolate that contains more than 70% of cocoa content, in order to get the best health benefits.
It doesn’t matter what type of chocolate you prefer as long as it makes you happy, and that’s what chocolates are supposed to do, right?