Reader Susan writes:
I can’t decide whether I like white chocolate or not. I like the very first taste of white chocolate when it hits my tongue and it’s initial flavor is sensed…then it’s all down hill from there. White chocolate does (to me) what milk chocolate seems to do to me; it’s components coat the tongue and the sensation of it’s flavor goes into overload that cannot be washed away! Is that sensation because of the amount of fat in the cocoa butter? What’s the deal with white chocolate?
It’s probably the formulation of the particular white chocolate you’re eating. Like a lot of inexpensive milk chocolates, inexpensive white chocolates tend to have less cocoa butter for the simple reason that cocoa butter is the most expensive component of chocolate (not only is it in demand in the confectionary industry, it’s also used in cosmetics). In general the higher the proportion of cocoa butter, the faster the chocolate melts in your mouth.
However in the US the law only requires that white chocolates contain 20% cocoa butter, the rest being milk powder and sugar. When the cocoa butter content gets that low, the impression is less smooth and unctuous than waxy and/or gummy, and that’s what causing the chocolate to stick to the surfaces of your mouth. That very sensation is why I don’t much care for white chocolate, as its texture gives me more time to contemplate its cloying sweetness.