Celebrating Milk Chocolate


July 28 is Milk Chocolate Day!

We chocolate lovers are so fortunate! The quality and variety of chocolate available to us is continually expanding by leaps and bounds. And as well, the types of chocolate continues to expand. There is white chocolate, ruby chocolate, milk chocolate, dark milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and pure chocolate of 100% cacao. This post is devoted to milk chocolate in honour of 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.

The Swiss continue to hold one of the top spots 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 white sugar per bar! This article by the Medical News Today spells it our for non-believers.

Artisanal milk chocolate products usually have a lesser amount of sugar than the commercial grade bars. And they generally use organic cane sugar as the sweetener, which is much healthier for us than commercial grade white sugar. But remember: in a 60% cocoa bar, the remaining 40% is still likely to be sugar or a sweetening agent of some sort. 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 and unhealthy additives or preservatives. Keep in mind that the lower the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the higher the amount of sugar and other additives.

understanding the difference between milk chocolate and dark milk chocolate

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 first introducing them to quality milk chocolate, then dark milk chocolate, by giving them just one piece of dark milk chocolate a day. And try adding cocoa nibs to their granola or chocolate treats so that they get used to the savoury taste of pure cacao.

Multi-award winner Hummingbird Chocolate of Almonte, Ontario, Canada, makes a delicious 60% milk chocolate bar in addition to its assortment of dark chocolate. As we’ve seen from Manoa, some chocolate companies call a 60% chocolate dark milk. It is the transition point between milk and dark chocolate.

I’m really crazy about dark milk chocolate. It has the creaminess of milk chocolate and the authentic rich flavour of dark chocolate. The 60% dark milk chocolate bar from Manoa Chocolate of Oahu, Hawaii, pictured at the top of this post is fabulous!

Dark milk chocolate is usually in the range of 60-65% cocoa and is made by adding a small amount of milk powder to the dark chocolate in its final stage of production. It is silky smooth, but yet lets the true cocoa flavour shine through.  

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 dark milk milk chocolate very much, and even milk chocolate when it’s not too sweet–like the Hummingbird Chocolate pictured above. I also recommend these two varieties:

Original Beans makes excellent milk chocolate which I have used in chocolate tastings and wine and chocolate pairing events.

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.

best milk chocolate

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 company is now called BeyondGood and is still making amazing chocolate.

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

Eating milk chocolate can be quite alright in moderation, 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 or dark 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 researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

77 Responses

  1. Dissertation Writing Services says:

    Your blog is a real treat for chocolate lovers. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.

  2. A very nice read as usual, Doreen! You keep proving that informative and mouth-watering can go hand-in-hand! We were aware that Switzerland’s Confiserie Sprüngli makes exclusive truffles with Cuban (Baracoa) cacao beans, but we don’t doubt for a second that their milk chocolate is superb too! By the way, it seems like Belgium’s JP Darcis is also making milk (and dark) chocolate with the great beans from our terroir! Over here at Villa Paradiso, we’re split between unwavering milk chocolate lovers and unbudging dark chocolate fans – though the former thoroughly enjoyed the tasting of the great dark chocolate samples from around the world you treated us to when you visited Baracoa!
    Villa Paradiso recently posted…Cuba Travel Photography – Spotlight On BaracoaMy Profile

    • Hello Roberto and Manuel. Great to hear from you! There is an easy answer to bridge the gap between milk and dark chocolate. That is dark milk chocolate, which is dark chocolate to which a small amount of milk powder is added in the final stage. It is incredible. Watch for it!

  3. Chard Kim says:

    Every day is a perfect day for chocolate. Last year I actually took a chocolate baking workshop and it was so much fun to do it. Thanks for the enjoyable opinions and great posts.

  4. I tend to find milk chocolate too sweet so it’s good to know that there are varieties made with less sugar.

    • Hi Karen and welcome back to Chocolatour! Indeed, there are many milk chocolate offerings that are way too sweet. Fortunately, many great chocolate makers are making low-sugar milk chocolate and the delicious dark milk chocolate. Try it!

  5. I didn’t realize that I missed National Chocolate Day, but I am going to go take care of that right now with a bite from my stash. I adore milk chocolate, my very favorite. And the best I’ve ever had came from Switzerland, followed by England. And not to mess with your research, but my husband is super fond of dark chocolate. He keeps his own stash and we don’t share.

  6. Doreen, this was so informational and easily understood. I love dark chocolate but really enjoyed reading how it differs from milk chocolate and how the latter came to be.

    • Thx so much, Jackie. I’ve yet to try any Greek chocolate (it’s been far too long since I’ve visited Greece and so it was pre-Chocolatour days.) So if you happen to encounter any that is exceptional, please send me the contact into if they speak English.

  7. Interesting read, I didn’t know there was dark milk chocolate, would love to try it some day. I actually took a chocolate making class with the owner of Manoa chocolate and it was so much fun to experience.

  8. Bruce Smith says:

    As soon as I saw that it was milk chocolate day the vision of a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar flashed through my mind. I am more of a dark chocolate fan these days but I still love milk chocolate. Thanks for the pleasant thoughts.

    • Hi Bruce. The point of this post was to transition chocolate lovers into a world far beyond Cadbury. The artisanal milk and dark milk chocolate are nothing like commercial grade milk chocolate.

  9. Thanks for introducing me to artisanal milk chocolate but I think I would gravitate more towards dark milk chocolate!!!

  10. I loved the scope of your post today. Do you know that we’ve covered Milk Chocolate in 129 posts on our blog?
    TammyJo Eckhart recently posted…Chocolate Relate Recalls for July 19, 2020My Profile

  11. What a great post and what great timing! Loved learning about that little bit of milk chocolate history! Please know I’ll be celebrating with you!

  12. Very interesting post as usual Doreen, thanks. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of Hotel Chocolat; we’ve just received their latest Tasting Club selection, so coffee breaks are even more delicious than usual. Roy

  13. Doreen, what a sweet little piece you have offered up to us today. I have to say that my wife and I differ on our chocolate preferences, as i tend to gravitate to the darker varieties. Thanks for sharing some of your background knowledge about milk chocolates.

  14. Beverly says:

    Please explain what ruby chocolate is. I enjoy all types of chocolate.

    • Hi Bev and thx for your query. Ruby Chocolate is not a specific varietal of cacao bean, but rather the way certain cocoa beans are fermented to create a ruby red colour of bean and a pink coloured chocolate. The Barry Callebaut chocolate company launched this chocolate a couple of years ago. It is more fruity and has a very subtle chocolate flavour.

  15. Janet says:

    Happy Milk Chocolate Day! I’ve tried the dark milk chocolate and am a big fan!

  16. The really great thing about chocolate is that it never ceases to amaze us. There are always new chocolate makers to explore, new kinds of chocolate to entice us, and new origins of cacao to tempt our palate. I’ve updated this post so that you can have updated information about milk chocolate and dark milk chocolate on your radar when you’re shopping for chocolate.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…embark on a northern safari to ChurchillMy Profile

  17. Carlos says:

    Hi Doreen,

    Have you been in Loma De Jaya Dominican Republic .Is a small farm in San Francisco De Macoris where 80% of organic cacao in the Dominican Republic is produced. We have great Organic Cacao. I myself produce some.

  18. Swiss is probably the only milk chocolate I like. Our USA stuff is super sweet & hurts my teeth. Ha ha. I’m a fan of dark chocolate, but I’ll try anything new so my taste buds don’t get bored!

    • Hi RoseMary and thanks for stopping by. I, too, usually prefer dark chocolate, but agree that well-crafted milk chocolate can be an occasional pleasure. If you haven’t already tried the dark milk chocolate, check it out in the next artisan shop you drop into. It’s amazing!

  19. Beverly says:

    I enjoyed learning about milk chocolate which I enjoy. I thank you for another
    informative post.

    informative post.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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. Catarina says:

    We really have to be grateful to the Swiss for inventing milk chocolate. It’s delicious and loved all over the world.
    Catarina recently posted…Do you thrive in the social era?My Profile

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

  25. Ken Dowell 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!

  26. 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.
    Pamela Chollet recently posted…Surprising Facts About Your Newborn BabyMy Profile

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. Rosalind 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 !

  30. 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

  31. 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!

  32. Linda Paul 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

  33. Jeri 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.
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Diana MarinovaMy Profile

  34. Phoenicia 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

  35. 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

  36. 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!
    Suzanne Boles recently posted…BlogMy Profile

  37. Mina Joshi 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

  38. Pat Amsden 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

    • You’re welcome, Pat, and thanks for visiting my new site. I hope you’ll take a look around, and go back in and like/share any posts you may have enjoyed. The migration didn’t carry forward the social media likes and I’m hoping to help build them back up a little. Thanks!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Celebrating Milk Chocolate DayMy Profile

  39. 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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  40. Lenie 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

  41. 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. 🙂

  42. 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.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…new features on the siteMy Profile

  43. 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.
    Tim recently posted…Zambezi MoonlightMy Profile

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