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A Chocolate Glossary

Fine Cooking Issue 61
Photo by: Scott Phillips
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Whether a chocolate is called unsweetened, bittersweet, or semisweet depends mostly on the percentage of chocolate liquor the chocolate contains. (Chocolate liquor is the paste made from ground cocoa nibs, which are extracted from roasted cocoa beans. The liquor contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids.) Most European and some American brands print the percentage of chocolate liquor on the label. A label of 70% chocolate means the bar contains about 70% chocolate liquor and about 30% sugar. (Vanilla and lecithin generally account for about 1% of the total ingredients.) But many manufacturers don’t list the percentages. In the U.S., dark chocolates by law must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor, and most brands of semi- and bittersweet contain 50% or more. Here’s a rundown of the various types of chocolate:


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