The delivery man just dropped off a 10 kg box of organic and fair trade white chocolate! Yay!
And since it's cool and crisp (yet sunny and happy) outside, it's a great day to taste some white chocolate. Today I am tasting Cocoa Camino organic white chocolate couverture and a Godiva solid white chocolate bar.
So I am not traditionally a white chocolate lover. At times, the smell of it makes me want to gag. However, since I have been introduced to good quality white chocolate, I find myself craving it on occasion and am excited to introduce other people to the creamy, cocoa buttery stuff too - provided that it is high quality.
I went to a "chocolate tasting" a few weeks ago, which was organized by people who are not chocolate coinnoiseurs. The person leading the session presented the chocolate with a lot of bravado, but did not offer a whole lot of information about chocolate. And he made one enormous error. He told the attendees that white chocolate is not really chocolate and is just candy. I wanted to speak up and insert my opposing opinion, but didn't want to be one of those annoying-know-it-all audience members, so I said nothing.
Well, I am saying something now. The white chocolate that is NOT real chocolate is commercial, grocery store white chocolate and "moulding" chocolate, which often have oils in them, lot's of sugar and lot's of sickening smelling artificial flavouring that is supposed to represent vanilla. Good quality white chocolate has real cocoa butter in it, real vanilla and is a delight to eat. Just go and buy a bag of Chipits white chocolate chips and then purchase a good quality organic white chocolate bar (like Green & Blacks) and have a little tasting of them both and you will instantly see what I am talking about. Real white chocolate has real cocoa butter, real vanilla and is not overpowered by sugar. Therefore it is real chocolate because a good portion of it is actually made from the cocoa bean. So there to the man who said, so generally, that white chocolate is not chocolate!
All that said, I am now on the fence about the Godiva white chocolate bar that I have been tasting while I've been ranting to you. It claims to be "solid white chocolate", but once on your tongue melts very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I could instantly tell that some sort of oil was added to make the chocolate smoother (like a dense truffle). The ingredients list has proved me correct. There is butteroil added to this Godiva bar, along with milk and skim milk. The vanilla is natural, but these additives make their statement "solid white chocolate" not so true. Technically, yes, it is a solid bar without filling, but it could also be labelled as a "truffle bar". The overall taste is good, but the buttery flavour of the butteroil is overpowering the cocoa butter and even the vanilla flavour.
The Cocoa Camino organic white chocolate couverture is refreshing, has a bit of a crispness to it (it's cool in here so the chocolate is hard) and a has lovely sweet aftertaste. It feels crisp and cool on the tongue with a mellow and sunny glow of real flavours - a perfect chocolate for this type of mild, sunny and crisp November day.
Clearly, in this tasting we can see that the commerical bar (Godiva) is designed for the commercial taste buds - with additives to appeal to a wider audience. The couverture chocolate is designed for creating quality chocolate bars and confections without additives so the taster can truly taste the cocoa butter and focus on the smoothness of the chocolate.
If you want to take your white chocolate tasting a step further, try the Venezuelan single bean origin white chocolate bar made by El Rey (http://www.chocolateselrey.com/). I've tasted it in the past and have kept the wrapper all this time because I enjoyed it so much. It was a crisper, harder bar, but very tasty.
Here are the stats on the two bars tasted today:
Cocoa Camino Organic Couverture White, 10 kg boxes in drop form
La Siembra Co-Operative, Ottawa, ON Canada
Ingredients: cocoa butter*, SYRAMENA(r) raw cane sugar*, whole milk powder*.
Godiva Chocolatier Solid White Chocolate, 43 grams (1.5 oz)
Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. New York, NY USA
Ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, milk, skim milk, butteroil, soy lecithin, tocopherols, vanilla. May contain tree nuts. Manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts and wheat.