What is the best white chocolate for eating available at regular stores?
I shopped at two health food stores, two drug stores and a grocery store in a large city in the US. I found just three brands. I don’t eat hydrogenated oil. If I did run across a product with that in it, it got excluded. Anything with other really trashy ingredients might have been excluded too. This search happened when I started craving white chocolate about a year ago. I wrote it up after the fact.
Conclusion: Valrhona Brand “Ivoire” Variety White Chocolate was the best white chocolate that I tried. It’s made in France. I bought it at Whole Foods. It comes in oval disks or “Feves” which means beans in French. Valrhona “Ivoire” was the only white chocolate I tried that wasn’t too sweet and didn’t taste unpleasantly of powdered milk. It was just generally excellent. Although intended for baking, this product makes a wonderful eating chocolate.
Ingredients for Valrhona “Ivoire” French White Chocolate Ovals:
Sugar, cocoa butter, whole powdered milk, soya lecithin as an emulsifier, natural vanilla extract
Whole Foods moves this product around, so you may have to ask where it is. I last found it near the gourmet deli meat and cheese counter in a display of chocolates on a table. Their chocolate buyer would know where it is. You might also find it with some of the baking chocolates as it is intended for baking. Bringing in a picture to show the employees can help.
Unfortunately, this product was packaged in a large amount that cost about $10.00. It looked like the picture above. I wish Whole Foods offered this product in individual serving sizes of four disks.
Watch out however: The second time I bought what appeared to be the same product from the same store it seemed too sweet and tasted of powdered milk. Valrhona has another white chocolate variety named “Opalys.” One reviewer says that “Opalys” is sweeter and milkier than “Ivoire.”
I wonder if I got “Opalys” instead of “Ivoire” ? Besides possibly being the wrong variety, I wonder if it suffered from the summer heat in transit?
Stuff like crackers at my Whole Foods are frequently stale. This isn’t because of where I live, because for most of my life here, stuff like that wasn’t happening.
From my experience, the shorter the time after Whole Foods repackages this product, the better. A month or two is probably too long.
The chocolate buyer at that store said that the only Valrhona white chocolate Whole Foods has in their system is “Ivoire.”
Valrhona and its retailers could be less confusing. Their product labels are in Fringlish. If you look for this product online, these are other possible names for it:
Valhrona Blanc Ivoire “Les Feves”
Valrhona 35% White Chocolate Ivoires Feves
Valrhona Blanc Ivoire a Patisse For Baking
The term “Ovals” may be used
Whatever Whole Foods feels like calling it that day on their bulk labels.
Although I didn’t run across them in my shopping trips, I saw Valhrona “Ivoire” white chocolate online in other forms:
8.8 ounce baking bars
A 1 kilogram block
“pistoles” which look like buttons
“pearls” which seem to contain additional components.
If you are in the US and want to mail order “Ivoire” White Chocolate from Valrhona, I think you have to go to their US site:
Currently Valrhona US offers the ovals aka “feves,” the 8.8 ounce baking bar and a one kilogram block for mail order.
Other retailers also sell various forms of Valrhona “Ivoire” online.
For me, Valrhona “Ivoire” White Chocolate would be even better if it was still less sweet, packaged by the manufacturer in individual servings, and better protected from summer heat. Retailers that claim to care about customers’ health can help by selling individual size servings of sweets.
Other Brands: I also tried plain white chocolate bars by Lindt and Ghirardelli. I found the Ghirardelli bar in the baking section of a supermarket. Both brands were too sweet for me. Lindt, and I think Ghirardelli also, tasted like not fresh powdered milk. I was further disappointed that Lindt contained artificial flavor. They charge enough, and act all gourmet and European, but…..Both bars were the large, brick-sized, $4.00 bars. I was looking for something a lot smaller.
These are ingredients for the Lindt white chocolate bar that I think is the one I bought in a supermarket:
Lindt Classic Recipe White Chocolate Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, milk, skim milk, soya (emulsifier), artificial flavor
Ingredients for the Ghirardelli:
Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar White Chocolate Ingredients: White Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Nonfat Dry Milk, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin — An Emulsifier, Vanilla)
I am glad to see this product does not contain partially hydrogenated oil. In the past I have seen partially hydrogenated oil in Ghirardelli chocolates, which was not o.k.
Lindt’s parent company Lindt & Spruengli actually also owns Ghirardelli chocolate, as well as Whitman’s and Russell Stovers.
Lindt’s White Chocolate Bar label talks about “sustainability.”
The NGO Mighty Earth says that Lindt & Spruengli buys chocolate grown illegally in national parks in Africa, which causes deforestation. Below is Mighty Earth’s list of corporations that buy this chocolate:
What do you think is the best white chocolate?
Most of the research for this article was done about late 2017. If you find something outdated, please let me know.