Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate? Jacques Torres Settles The Debate - Exclusive

There is perhaps no other dessert ingredient more controversial than white chocolate. Some people love it for its creamy taste and versatility, while others can't stand its overly sweet flavor. But before we even consider how good or bad white chocolate is, there's an even more important and longstanding debate to settle: Is white chocolate even considered real chocolate?

Some, like Bon Appétit, firmly uphold that white chocolate, despite its name, is not actually chocolate because it doesn't contain any cocoa solids. Others say it's the added ingredients in white chocolate (which can include oils, vanilla flavoring, and a lot of excess sweetener) mean it cannot be considered pure chocolate (via Chicago Tribune). 

To end the dispute once and for all, we turned to an expert — and not just any expert, but the master on all things chocolate. Mashed sat down with world-renowned pastry chef and judge on Netflix's Nailed It!, Jacques Torres, for an exclusive interview, and got his official take on this sticky situation. And spoiler? Mr. Chocolate himself says that white chocolate is, in fact, real chocolate.

Jacques Torres says it all comes down to cocoa butter

According to Jacques Torres, the question of white chocolate is a simple one to answer: "If cocoa butter is there, then it is officially chocolate." As Torres explains, "we call it white chocolate because the first ingredient in white chocolate is the cocoa butter, the fat coming from the cacao beans." While it's true there are no cocoa solids in white chocolate, Torres points out that "50 percent of the cacao bean is cocoa butter. So if you think about it, the most important ingredient [in white chocolate] is cocoa butter, and this is 50 percent of the cacao beans of the cacao plant."

Of course, there are plenty of white chocolate substitutes out there pretending to be the real thing, so make sure and always check the label. "When that cocoa butter is replaced by another fat, then it cannot be called white chocolate," says Torres. Only when using real cocoa butter, "the fat comes from the cacao plant ... we call it white chocolate." 

You can learn even more chocolate tips from Jacques Torres by tuning in to the newest season of Nailed It!, streaming now on Netflix.