We all like to think we know the ones we love, but here’s a handy checklist to make sure that you’re not in for any bitter surprises!

The percentage on a chocolate bar tells you how much of the bar, by weight, is made from pure cacao beans or parts of the bean (such as cocoa butter or cocoa solids). Generally, the higher the percentage, the more intense and less sweet the chocolate will be. 

Dark chocolate is produced using higher percentages of cocoa, generally ranging from 55% to 99%. The percentage on the label also indicates sugar content: a 70% bar will contain 30% sugar, whereas a 55% bar contains about 45% sugar.

Milk chocolate is cocoa beans mixed with sugar and milk (or cream). In the European Union, milk chocolate must contain at least 25% pure chocolate with milk and sugar; in the United States, it only has to contain 10 percent pure chocolate.

White chocolate is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, without the cocoa solids.

Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate without added sugar. It might also be known as bitter chocolate or baking chocolate, and is cocoa powder in a dry form. It is used almost exclusively for baking.

Want to know more about chocolate? Check out this guest blog.