TheChocolateLifeLIVE: Deconstructing the Epicurious Guide to Chocolate

TheChocolateLifeLIVE:  Deconstructing the Epicurious Guide to Chocolate

Episode 77 of #TheChocolateLifeLIVE streams on Tuesday, December 27th from 12:00~13:00 EST.

Are different cocoa powders different types of chocolate? Really?

I was in Shanghai in 2017 when Barry Callebaut announced the fourth type of chocolate – Ruby. Taken on its face, it looks like there’s been a lot of new developments in the field I was completely unaware of ... or so Epicurious claims.

In this episode of TheChocolateLifeLIVE we’ll take an interactive look together at what these more than fifteen types are, and see what other chocolatey pearls of wisdom Epicurious casts along the way.

It is amazing to me how much non-experts – including many chefs with stellar resumes without a background in pasty – misunderstand about chocolate.
The real question I have for all of you, in advance, is whether or not I am being unreasonable in even bringing this topic up. 

For me, one analogy to explore is wine. Let’s agree, for the sake of this discussion, that red, white, sparkling, and fortified are different types of wine.

One question I have in reasoning through the analogy is if processing techniques like solera (age) blending, varietal (e.g., grenache+cabernet) blending, and ripasso (macerating a simple Valpolicella over marc and residues from Amarone or Recioto) makes these different types of wine. My intuition tells me they are not different types. What do you think?

Also, there are both red and white fortified wines (ports, for example). There are both red and white sparkling wines, and I know of at least one sparkling red wine that is also fortified (Rumball Sparkling Shiraz). Does that put sparkling and fortified in a different class of types from red and white?

Another question I have in reasoning through the analogy is about raw materials. Are grapes and grape juice (which can be thought of as the equivalent of cocoa beans and cocoa nibs) different types of wine? I don’t think they are, but what do you think?

TL;DR – The different types of chocolate mentioned in the video (which is linked to below) this list are:

  1. Cacao Beans
  2. Cacao Nibs
  3. Unsweetened Chocolate
  4. Milk Chocolate
  5. Semisweet Chocolate
  6. German’s Chocolate
  7. Dark Chocolate
  8. Mexican Table Chocolate
  9. Modeling Chocolate
  10. Couverture Chocolate
  11. White Chocolate
  12. Ruby Chocolate
  13. Natural Cocoa Powder
  14. Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
  15. Black Cocoa Powder
  16. Sweet Cocoa Powder

Other segments in the video (there are chapter stops in the video description) include:

  • A Brief Note On Making Chocolate
  • A Brief Note On Fat Bloom
  • A Brief Note On Tempering
ICE Chef Adrienne Cheatham
Adrienne Cheatham graduated from ICE’s Culinary Arts program in 2007 and gained experience as executive sous chef at Le Bernardin, executive chef at Red Rooster Harlem, and corporate chef de cuisine for Marcus Samuelsson.
Chef Adrienne Cheatham is the host of this video.
Watch in advance and let me know where you stand on some of these distinctions. Agree? Disagree? Have some other takes?

When I look through the list I see the following breakdown:

Not Chocolate

  • Ingredients – cocoa beans, cocoa nibs, cocoa butter
  • Cocoa Powders – natural, alkalized, black, sweet


  • Unsweetened – liquor/mass (also an ingredient), baking
  • Sweet (aka “Dark”) Chocolate – semisweet (but not bittersweet), German’s
  • Milk
  • White

Adjectives/Modifiers – couverture, Ruby, modeling, Mexican table (as a stand in for all rustic/flavored chocolates)

Why am I doing this? Getting things technically right – for example, Chef perpetuates the urban legend that white chocolate is not really chocolate – is important to me. Exploring these topics out loud and interactively – helps me, in my experience, be a better advocate for my positions.
The graphic I showed during the stream.

Do you agree or disagree?


Federal Register :: Request Access
Click on this card to go to eCFR 21.163 (Requirements for Specific Standardized Cacao Products) for the canonical list of chocolate types in the US.

Watch/Participate on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Visit TheChocolateWire Channel on YouTube

My LinkedIn profile
TheChocolateLife page live event


#epicurious #fifteentypesofchocolate
#chocolate #cacao #cocoa #cacau
#TheChocolateLife #LaVidaCocoa

Have thoughts to share or questions to ask?

Leave them in the comments.
You've successfully subscribed to The Chocolate Life
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The Chocolate Life
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.