For those of us who love it, chocolate is the root of endless tasteful delight. Yet, it can also cause confusion for those who do not know the various types and flavors. The chocolate – true chocolate and not chocolate candy, offers its acolytes a diverse range of flavors and quality. In chocolate shops, even found in the once candy capitol of Chicago, some puzzle not only over quality but also over the difference between the basic chocolate styles.

Basic Chocolate Styles

Whether you are making something with chocolate or trying to find the right type to satisfy your craving, you need to know the distinctions that exist among the chocolate styles. Below is a simple list clarifying the different styles and common uses.

* Bittersweet: This extra dark chocolate contains less sugar than semi-sweet making it tarter. Bittersweet chocolate is often used interchangeably with semi-sweet chocolate
* Chocolate Chips: These also appear in a variety of chocolate products, including ice cream. They may be semi-sweet, dark or milk in flavor and color. These are specifically formulated with lower amounts of cocoa butter to prevent them losing their texture or shape when added to various other products as a mix-in
* Cocoa (Cacao) Nibs: These are very tiny pieces of roasted chocolate added to chocolate chunks, bars or even ice cream to give them a crunch. They may have an added flavor and can be bitter at times
* Couverture: Only the finest chocolate shops use couverture. This is a high-quality chocolate ideally suited for various types of candies including those rich and mouth-watering truffles
* Dark Chocolate: See semi and bittersweet
* Giandula: Another style of chocolate favored by chocolatiers, this is the perfect blend of hazelnut flavor and chocolate. It is available in both milk and dark-chocolate varieties
* Milk Chocolate: This is one of the most popular styles of chocolate for the production of any form of chocolates. It is the most basic of chocolate stock for a chocolatier. In the United States, for chocolate to conform to the type of milk chocolate, it must consist of a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids. These amounts are significantly less than those required in Europe e.g. 30% chocolate liqueur, 18% dry milk solids as well as 26% total fat content.
* Semi-Sweet: Depending upon the producer, this is almost interchangeable with bittersweet chocolate. Generally, it contains slightly more sugar than bittersweet making it dark but not extra dark. It is ideal for those who are not ready for the taste of unsweetened chocolate
* Unsweetened Chocolate: Unsweetened chocolate is the most pure of all chocolate. It lacks sugar and is approximately made of 99% chocolate liqueur
* White Chocolate: This is actually not a chocolate. It does not contain any cocoa solids. It consists of cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean) as well as sugar and milk

Chocolate Shops Deliver

Every shop and country has its own favorite style of chocolate. Chocolate shops in Chicago and other American cities use these types as the basis for creating their own delectable treats. They then leave it up to the consumers, like you, to select what best suits your taste buds and purpose.