Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Greyson. Greyson Wonders, “How is white chocolate made? Does it come from cocoa like chocolate? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Greyson!

Do you have a favorite dessert? Would you love a big slice of cake? How about a cookie? Maybe you’d prefer ice cream. If you’re like many kids, you might say any of the above would be great—as long as they’re chocolate!

Ah, yes, chocolate. The king of flavors. The sweet tooth’s sweet dream. Kids and adults alike go crazy for chocolate. They devour chocolate bars. They relish fudgy brownies. They love dark chocolate. Milk chocolate. Even white chocolate!

Stop right there. Do you know the truth about white chocolate? We hate to break it to you, but… white chocolate? It isn’t really chocolate. That’s right. White chocolate is an imposter!

If you’re a white chocolate fan, you probably don’t care much whether it’s really chocolate or not. As long as it keeps tasting great in all your favorite treats, white chocolate is fine by you! Still, you might be WONDERing, if white chocolate isn’t chocolate, then what exactly IS it?

White chocolate is made of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. Some people add things like vanilla or cinnamon to the recipe. But wait just a minute. Did we say “cocoa” butter? Doesn’t that mean chocolate? 

Well, not exactly. When cocoa beans are processed, two substances are produced—cocoa butter and cocoa nibs. The nibs are then ground up and used to make chocolate products. To be considered “chocolate,” an item has to be at least 10% cocoa nib.

The resulting cocoa butter is then used for many products. It’s put in lotions, cosmetics, and white chocolate. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), white chocolate has to be at least 20% cocoa butter.

Today, people all over the world make white chocolate. But it all started in Switzerland in 1936. There, it’s believed that Nestle was looking for a way to use extra milk powder. Someone had the idea to mix it with sugar and cocoa butter and—Voila!—white chocolate was born.

What’s in a name? Most white chocolate lovers couldn’t care less about whether white chocolate is considered “real” chocolate. Instead, they happily eat it with their favorite snacks or even by itself. Do you love white chocolate? Or do you prefer dark or milk chocolate? Whatever your preference, chocolate in all its forms is a favorite dessert for people around the world!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.1, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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