The next time you reach for something to munch on to satisfy your sweet tooth, you may be faced with a somewhat philosophical question: is chocolate a candy?
While this may seem like a pretty straightforward question, it’s actually not as clear-cut as you might think. Why?
Because there are both differences and similarities between chocolate and candy, causing a major online debate over which is which and how to differentiate and classify these delicious treats.
This is why we set out to discover the answer to this question and we hope that with this article, you will get more clarity and be able to better argue your way around chocolates and candies. Let’s dig in!
- What is considered candy?
- Candies are mainly made from sugar
- Candies can contain other ingredients, including chocolate
- Candies come in a variety of textures
- What is considered chocolate?
- The difference between chocolate and candy
- So, is chocolate a candy?
- Wrapping up
What is considered candy?
We all know that candies are available in a multitude of shapes, sizes, flavors, textures, and more. But what is the defining characteristic of a candy? Is it only what it is made of that makes it such or are there any other classifying criteria that we should look at? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem at first glance.
Candies are mainly made from sugar
Although candy is classified as confectionery that features sugar, many types of candies don’t contain sugar as a principal ingredient. Some candies are made from beet or cane sugar, but there is also honey, molasses, coconut sugar, xylitol, and erythritol.
With this in mind, there is such a world of difference in terms of the mere ingredient that this already makes our job of getting to the bottom of this seemingly simple question much harder.
Candies can contain other ingredients, including chocolate
Apart from sugar as a primary ingredient in candy, we should look at other ingredients. It’s pretty common knowledge that some candies contain fruit, nuts, various other ingredients and flavors, and interestingly enough… chocolate as well.
So, is this all that’s involved in defining a candy? Unfortunately, the answer is no and the dilemma continues. This is because two additional criteria account for what candy is (or is not).
The first of these criteria is that candies cannot and are not set in the fridge. The second criterion is that candies by their very nature are not supposed to contain flour.
Candies come in a variety of textures
And to complicate matters even more, we have the distinction between non-crystalline (chewy or hard) and crystalline candies (soft and melt in the mouth).
In addition to all this, candies are usually small in size, eaten by hand, have broad consistency leading back to the distinction between hard and soft candies above, and they mainly taste like sugar (although different flavors can be added to it).
What is considered chocolate?
And now, we turn our attention to chocolate. What is chocolate after all? Let’s take a look at the main ingredient in chocolate.
Chocolate (primarily milk and dark chocolate) consists of cocoa beans, which are ground into powder. This is then combined with cocoa butter and other flavors can be added to give it different tastes and textures.
But if candies are primarily made of sugar and sugar can be an ingredient in some chocolates, surely then, chocolates are candy, too, right? Well, it’s not so simple.
Important things you need to know about chocolate is that not all chocolates contain sugar. In fact, the darker the chocolate the less sugar and the higher cocoa content it has.
In addition to this, chocolate can include pairings with other flavors, sweeteners, and even ingredients to create a richer taste palette.
Is white chocolate – chocolate?
White chocolate, unlike its cousins dark and milk chocolate, doesn’t contain cocoa solids. It is made of cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, and other food additives, therefore, it’s not considered chocolate.
The difference between chocolate and candy
Now that we’ve identified the main definitions of candy and chocolate, let’s explore the difference between candy and chocolate.
Some may argue that there’s no debate at all and that there’s no difference between candy vs. chocolate. Others may say that there absolutely is a difference and this shouldn’t be ignored when defining these sweet treats.
However, we’ll look at a couple of differences and similarities to determine where the answer lies.
Differences between chocolate and candy
So, without further ado, we present you with the main differences between chocolate and candy.
- Their main ingredients are different
- They come in different shapes and sizes
- They have a different consistency
- They are produced differently
Similarities between candy and chocolate
And we can’t have a well-rounded debate without considering the other end of the argument. Some similarities between chocolate and candy include the following:
- Both contain some quantities of sugar
- Both can have different flavors
- They both have a long shelf life
So, is chocolate a candy?
And now for the finale: is chocolate a candy? The answer is not straightforward. It can be considered a candy but more professional confectioners will not classify it as a candy even if the candy contains some amounts of chocolate.
As such, we can call chocolate a custom candy and if we take it even further, we can, by definition, not call dark chocolate a type of candy at all. This is because it has minimal amounts of sugar added as just one side of the argument.
We all know that chocolate when paired with different ingredients, can offer a much more complex taste experience than candies. And the time and production methods that go into making some chocolate can be much more complex than for candies. Apart from the ingredients and production methods, both do taste sweet, although darker chocolate tends to have a more bitter flavor.
At Totally Chocolate, we agree that chocolates should be considered as more than just sweets. The chocolates, in our collection in particular, have a distinct flavor profile and a higher level of artisan taste and quality.
For those of you who would like to discover this for themselves, don’t hesitate to browse through our extensive selection of custom Belgian chocolates for every occasion and pick the perfect taste sensation for you!