We all have an opinion on chocolate – whether it be that you hate white chocolate because you don’t consider it to be “real chocolate,” love the bitterness of dark chocolate or prefer the good ol’ fashioned milk chocolate. I’m here to bust the rumors and teach you a thing or two about chocolate.

Chocolate comes from the cacao bean, the seed of the fruit grown on the cacao tree. Once the fat, or cocoa butter is extracted and the seed is melted down, you are left with chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is 100% cacao, also known as baking chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate and Apples + Pineapple

Photo by Sarah Wu

Bitter in taste, dark chocolate contains the highest amount of cacao, usually between 70 and 85%. It’s is high in iron and antioxidants, making it essentially “healthy,” assuming you don’t eat too much of it at once…but who’s really keeping track?

It’s best paired with something sweet to balance out the bitterness, such as fruit (a dark chocolate bar with orange) or even a fruity cheese. I recommend pairing it with Koko’s coconut cheese or with pineapple and apples. It’s like you’re in Hawaii.

Milk Chocolate

Milk Chocolate and Sea Salt Kettle Chips

Photo by Sarah Wu

Milk chocolate is most recognizable in the form of a Hershey’s bar. In order for it to be deemed “milk chocolate,” it needs to contain at least 10% cacao. It’s found in most of your favorite candy – M&Ms, Snickers and Twix, to name a few. The cacao is mixed with milk solids to reduce the bitter taste and amp up the sweetness.

Drizzle milk chocolate on your potato chips for a fun snack, or pair your popcorn with milk chocolate for a lighter treat.

White Chocolate

White Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Photo by Andrew Zaky

White chocolate is often shunned and called out for not being “real chocolate,” but technically it is. The truth is that white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, not cocoa. Cocoa butter is the fat found in the bean. Milk solids, milk fat and sugar are added to create the white chocolate. It has a creamier flavor than the others, and is the sweetest of the three.

Wanna have your taste buds blown? Pair white chocolate and peanut butter to bring the salty to the sweet. Personally, I like to dip a white chocolate bar right into the container.

Try out these other recipes to cater to your chocolate taste buds: