Beef that’s not Beef and more

One of today’s top headlines is the lawsuit brought against Taco Bell for not meeting the minimum requirements for their “Beef” to be called “Beef”. (news story )

Most of the public does not know that parts of the government make rules for what is allowed to be called certain names.  The lawsuit was filed because according to tests the “Beef” didn’t meet the minimum government specifications to be called that name. Did you know “chocolate” has a legal definition? 

So how does that affect you?
Valentine’s day is coming up, and a group of companies are advertising “chocolate covered strawberries” and the product does not meet the legal definition to be called Milk, White, or Dark (bittersweet) Chocolate.

The easiest way to show that the product is not chocolate is to look at the ingredients as cocoa butter is required to be called “chocolate”.  If there is no cocoa butter: it was not dipped in “chocolate”.

But what about “chocolate flavored”?
The term “chocolate flavored” is allowed to be used when the product does not contain cocoa butter but does have other ingredients from a cocoa bean (chocolate liqueur, cocoa powder..), but it must be labeled “chocolate flavored” and not just as “chocolate”.  Since the minimum required 20% cocoa butter is the one and only ingredient in white chocolate that comes from the cocoa bean: once you remove the cocoa butter you cannot call it “white chocolate” or even “white chocolate  flavored”.

But what about Chocolate Cake?
Chocolate cake or even chocolate pudding are what are called a “common sense exclusions” as “the public” knows that a chocolate cake is not a big slab of chocolate but that there are other ingredients in the cake. This common sense exclusion does not apply to “chocolate covered strawberries” because those companies are saying the product is dipped in chocolate , a substance they do not use.

Eventually a law firm will file a lawsuit  and collect some big fees on this type of false advertising as well, as those companies “chocolate covered strawberries” don’t meet the requirements to be called “chocolate” , or even “chocolate flavored” since there is no such thing as “white chocolate flavored”.

Truth in advertising matters to us, as does the correct use of the legal term “chocolate” that is why we dip our chocolate covered strawberries in true gourmet chocolate unlike the companies that we list on our “Wall of Shame”.

This entry was posted in Chocolate History & News, Ordering Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.