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What Does the Chocolate Cacao Percentage Mean?

What do chocolate cacao percentages mean?
These days, there are so many brands of chocolate available in our stores. From age-old grocery staples to small-batch, local and artisanal producers, you can find any price, size, and flavor combination that you want. But with this variety also comes some of the most confusing labels out there. We’ll break it all down over time, but here’s one of the most basic things you need to know:

The percentage on a dark chocolate label refers to the amount of the product that is cocoa mass. The remaining amount is sugar. So, a 78% bar will have 22% sugar. The higher the percentage, the less sweet the chocolate will be. Milk chocolate is trickier since they don’t have to list all of the ingredients so it’s harder to say.

When making a recipe that centers around chocolate, make sure to use the best you can afford. In particular, we recommend looking for a bar between 70-80% that’s also fair-trade and organic to make sure you’re getting the good stuff. There’s a huge variety in quality so grab a different bar next time you’re at the store and hopefully you’ll discover a new favorite!