Bring up white chocolate to most people and you’ll likely get a nose wrinkle and a, “Who eats white chocolate?”* Seriously — that just happened to me within the hour when discussing this post. But the answer is Brazil, for starters, along with a bunch of other countries where the white chocolate business is booming (even though it’s not reeeally chocolate).
Almost $1.5 billion worth of white chocolate was chomped down worldwide last year, notes Quartz with a nifty little infographic of who’s consuming which kinds of chocolate. The United States, United Kingdom and Brazil alone consumed over $700 million worth.
Of course there are those who will give you the side-eye when you mention the stuff, likely because it’s not actually chocolate when it all comes down to it: There aren’t any cocoa solids in white chocolate, just fatty cocoa butter, which is a byproduct of processing cocoa.
Heaping in tons of sugar and fat are just some of the tactics chocolate makers used to convince naysayers to eat white chocolate, prompting government to get involved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration now says that in order to be called “white chocolate,” it must have at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids and less than 56% sugar.
Don’t even try bringing white chocolate up to Canada or over to Greece though — they’ve apparently never seen the gloriousness of this classic ’80s commercial (which yes, we’re quite fond of):
Or even better, the cover by one of the first bands ever to enter my consciousness, Faith No More:
*Here’s where I apologize to people who really do love white chocolate, including my colleague, Chris Morran. I’m sure your love is genuine, I just… I can’t.