Celebrating Milk Chocolate

July 28 is Milk Chocolate Day!

We have the Swiss to thank for inventing milk chocolate as it was Daniel Peter, a resident of Vevey, Switzerland, who is first credited with adding milk to chocolate in 1875. Vevey’s rationale was simple. Chocolate is expensive. Switzerland has plenty of dairy cows. Why not add a little milk in order to stretch the chocolate to make it more cost effective, and thereby more accessible to the average family?

Laderach is a very popular Swiss chocolate brand that excels in its milk chocolate offerings.

Laderach is a very popular Swiss chocolate brand that excels in its milk chocolate offerings.

The Swiss continue to hold the top spot in the world for per capita chocolate consumption, and they still prefer their milk chocolate, although that is slowly changing and you will find an increasing amount of dark chocolate creations among the multitude of Swiss chocolate offerings.

In North America, milk chocolate is traditionally what we think of when we think of “chocolate candy” as it has a significantly higher component of sugar than dark chocolate. If you’re looking at a popular compact milk chocolate candy bar such as Milky Way, you will find approximately 58 grams or 8.5 teaspoons of sugar per bar! This article by the Medical News Today spells it our for non-believers.

Artisanal milk chocolate products generally have a lesser amount of sugar than the commercial grade bars. But remember: in a 60% cocoa bar, the remaining 40% is likely to be sugar. So that means in a 100-gram 60% cocoa bar, you may be eating as much as 40 grams of sugar!

In commercial candy bars, there are often a multitude of additional ingredients, making it advisable to read your chocolate labels carefully if you want to avoid unnecessary additives. Keep in mind that the lower the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher the amount of sugar.

Artisanal milk chocolate generally contains anywhere from 38-60% cocoa. It has a lighter colour and generally, a silkier texture than pure dark chocolate. Children almost always prefer milk chocolate as it is sweeter, but you can slowly train their palates to enjoy dark chocolate by giving them just one piece of dark chocolate a day. My research has proven that men often prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, as at my chocolate tasting events, the men almost always gravitate to the chocolate samples that contain milk or the lowest amount of cocoa (and highest amount of sugar.)

Although I generally eat dark chocolate, I do enjoy milk chocolate when it’s not too sweet and can highly recommend these 2 varieties:

Moscato wineo

Original Beans Chocolate Esmeraldas Milk Chocolate: a 42% organic milk chocolate from the Pacific Rainforest of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, in South America. This chocolate is velvety creamy, and offers notes of caramel and flour de sel. It pairs really well with a Moscato sparkling white wine. Original Beans was awarded two awards in volume I of Chocolatour for its excellence in originality and eco-friendly practices.

And as you may also have read in volume I of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate, I awarded the “Best Milk Chocolate” award to Madécasse Chocolate of Madagascar, Africa, for their 44% milk chocolate bar featuring Arabica coffee bean nibs.

The nice thing about both of these brands is that they offer sustainable chocolate. In the case of Madécasse, it is made by the cocoa farmers. In the case of Original Beans, the cocoa beans are sourced directly from the farmers and made in a sustainable eco-friendly way.

So eating milk chocolate can be OK within reason, and particularly if you are eating chocolate of the artisanal variety featuring the purest of ingredients. Happy Milk Chocolate Day! If you have a favourite milk chocolate, do share it with us here.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

44 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    What a great day to have…chocolate day 🙂 You are the perfect person to ask this Doreen. I was in Cuba recently and in one part of the island that was cut off from the rest of the world until 1964 they make this great chocolate. Baracoa chocolate. I had it on everything with the best being fish. Do you know how to make a great chocolate sauce for fish. Have tried since returning but it’s just not the same. You have to get down there, you would love it.
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  2. Hi Tim and welcome to my new site!

    Yes, I have been to Cuba a few times. But it was before I was on the chocolate trail! I have had fish coated in cocoa nibs in Hawaii and it was fantastic! I don’t recall having Baracoa chocolate, but I will be sure to look it up the next time I go.
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  3. Susan Cooper
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Doreen, your site looks so beautiful! Milk Chcolate day what a great idea. They come up with some crazy national “days” but this is a good one. I too like dark chocolate now. But remember when I was little and I would accidentally get a dark chocolate or my mom would give me one to be funny. Yuck! I sure hated it back then. You do have to train the palate to love dark chocolate. 🙂

  4. Lenie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Doreen, congratulations on your site – it looks great. I do like chocolate (but then who doesn’t?) and I’ve learned so much about it from following you that now my taste buds are also developing. If you do learn how to coat fish with chocolate sauce, you’ll have to write about it and share the recipe. Does that sound good.
    Lenie recently posted…Ice Cube Tray: 20 Tips for Best Frugal UseMy Profile

    • Hi Lenie: Thx for your comment. Just like pairing certain wines with chocolate, there are certain fish that pair best with cocoa. So far I’ve only had that in the tropical climes of St. Lucia and Hawaii. Perhaps I will see if I can find a North American chef to see if they can work on a fish and cocoa pairing that works well and is easily accessible. Stay tuned!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Celebrating Milk Chocolate DayMy Profile

  5. I hope it’s okay if I celebrate a day late! First, I want to say that like the others, I love the new site! Very engaging. I’m still stuck on milk chocolate, even though I know that dark chocolate is better for you. What can I say, there are habits that seem hard to break! But as habits go, this isn’t necessarily a horrible one to have:) It’s good to know, however, that there are some milk chocolate products that are less bad.
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  6. Pat Amsden
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ve noticed men tend to prefer milk chocolate too. I didn’t realize we had a milk chocolate day before! Thanks for sharing

  7. Mina Joshi
    Twitter:
    says:

    I didn’t know that it was milk chocolate day yesterday!! My son brought some Milka chocolates filled with Oreo yesterday from France and I must say that chocolate tasted divine. I am a big fan of Galaxy Milk chocolate with Caramel is my favourite.
    Mina Joshi recently posted…Mixed Vegetable and chick peas jalfreziMy Profile

  8. Suzanne Boles
    Twitter:
    says:

    It always amazes me how much you know about chocolate! Milk chocolate day?! That’s worth celebrating. Actually any day is worth celebrating chocolate. Thanks for keeping us updated on all these wonderful chocolate facts!
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  9. Kathy Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    Milk chocolate is not my favourite, but in really good chocolates it’s a different beast. Interesting that it was a swiss invention for sure. Happy Milk chocolate day!
    Kathy Andrew recently posted…#Author in Focus: Virginia Woolf – A Life of Her OwnMy Profile

    • Thanks, Kathy. It’s always great when you visit the blog. You’re right. It’s best not to generalize and say you don’t like ANY milk chocolate. I used to do that, and then I started occasionally eating really good milk chocolate from really good chocolate makers–which changed my mind! I still prefer dark, but a dark milk chocolate can be exquisite! 🙂
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Celebrating Milk Chocolate DayMy Profile

  10. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    How did I miss World Chocolate Day? I adore chocolate. In my younger years I preferred sweets but since cutting them out, chocolate is my vice!

    I agree that dark chocolate is preferable to milk chocolate and white chocolate is sickly. I only eat dark chocolate and the other day, took a square of milk chocolate. It was just wrong! My taste buds have changed!
    Phoenicia recently posted…When are you at your most productive?My Profile

    • Way to go, Phoenicia! You can indeed retrain your taste buds! But don’t count white chocolate out entirely. There are some artisan chocolate makers who use a lesser amount of sugar, and add fruits and nuts to the cocoa butter to create quite a delightful result. “Sugah!” in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is one of them.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Celebrating Milk Chocolate DayMy Profile

  11. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    My chocolate tasks have admittedly veered more toward darker varieties in recent years (partially thanks to reading your blog) though I still enjoy milk chocolate on occasion. White chocolate is the one I tend to avoid the most.
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  12. Linda Paul
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great post, Doreen. I learned a lot. As a kid, yes, I preferred milk chocolate and thought my mother was nuts when she scarfed down semi-sweet baker’s chocolate. Then I guess I grew up. Now I really prefer some version of dark chocolate.

    BTW: I’m curious why I need to sign in each and every time I make a comment. I get not only 1, but 2 email notifications about each of your new posts. But your blog site never seems to remember who I am. Is there some little button that I’ve failed to tick? Usually, after being approved by a blog site, I’m able to go directly to comments w/0 having to ID myself first. :-/
    Linda Paul recently posted…Confessions of a voyeurMy Profile

    • Hi Linda and thanks for your comment. I am assuming you are subscribed to the site as you say you are receiving notifications. So that should automatically make you approved to make future comments. I don’t know why that is happening, or why you are getting duplicate notifications. I will check the list to ensure you are not on there twice. If it happens again, do let me know and I will ask my webmaster to check into it. Thanks!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Celebrating Milk Chocolate DayMy Profile

  13. I think I would like artisanal milk chocolate better than regular candy milk chocolate. I’ve become such a dark chocolate snob over the years that when I eat our milk chocolate I feel like I can taste all the sugar and fillers more than the chocolate. Guess I better book a trip to Switzerland!

  14. You’ve written about one of my favourite treats, Doreen! Milk chocolate always reminds me of being a little girl, when my father would buy me a Hershey bar after my piano lesson. No wonder I loved them so much, with that huge sugar rush.
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Getting happy — 2015 VW Beetle convertible was my room without a roof.My Profile

  15. Rosalind
    Twitter:
    says:

    Definitely more of a dark chocolate person myself. I discovered Valrhona squares in Paris, given after dinner. Perfect for taking the edge off a sweet craving and just enough to satisfy the chocolate urge. I could be persuaded to milk chocolate at a push though !

  16. I must admit I rarely eat chocolate and when I do it tends to be the dark variety, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating learning the background of milk chocolate. After all it’s such a staple of most people’s lives!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…How to Stop Struggling With EndingsMy Profile

  17. How did I miss National Chocolate Day? I’ll have to have 2 pieces today to make up for it! I love dark chocolate the best. The darker the better. Oh and to have it with the just right glass of red wine…yum. I think you just named my 5:00 treat for this Friday!
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – it’s back!My Profile

  18. I’m not a major chocolate lover, (thank God). But I have friends who could live on it. The one thing I do love about chocolate is the better the quality the less it takes to sooth a craving. It’s kind of like cheese in that respect. I have taken to enjoying a piece of rich dark chocolate in the evening and I really look forward to it, it buttons up my day.
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  19. Ken Dowell
    Twitter:
    says:

    So the Swiss added milk to chocolate and then the Americans filled it up with sugar. Being American, that may explain why I’m not too fond of it. But I’ll try the brands you recommended because it is the sweetness that turns me off.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Coding Our Future: Technology and JobsMy Profile

    • RIGHT ON, Ken! It is indeed, the Americans who have turned chocolate into candy vs a healthy and delicious elixir. I guarantee you that if you try some brands from abroad, you will be surprised and impressed. You can definitely get Original Beans Chocolate online in the US as I know they have an American distributor. Let me know what you think when you’re tried it!

  20. What a great and informative post. I did not know so much about chocolate before, thanks for sharing this with us.

  21. Catarina says:

    We really have to be grateful to the Swiss for inventing milk chocolate. It’s delicious and loved all over the world.
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  22. krystle cook
    Twitter:
    says:

    I give much thanks to the Swiss then. I prefer milk chocolate over dark. The only dark chocolate I like has caramel in it 🙂 My dad on the other hand LOVES dark chocolate.

  23. Hi krystle. I, too, love dark chocolate caramels, especially if they’re topped with sea salt! Do try to expose yourself to more dark milk chocolate (that’s milk chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa) and slowly it will condition your tastebuds to appreciating dark chocolate.

  24. For some reason it does not surprise me that it was a Swiss person to creating milk chocolate and i love the reasoning as to why this yumminess was created. This is something that I will pass on, just to show how good a chocoholic i am lol

    It may not be the official milk chocolate day,but to me every day ( almost lol) is a milk chocolate day!

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