Is Chocolate Vegetarian?
Whenever people talk about comfort food, there’s a likely chance they’re talking about chocolate. When times are rough and you’re feeling down (or if you just want to satisfy your cravings), chocolate is there to cheer you up.
Given the popularity of chocolate, it only makes sense that people looking to adopt a no-meat diet may ask, “Is chocolate even vegetarian?”
The answer is: Yes, absolutely!
However, chocolate comes in many forms and varieties (which we’ll talk about below), so if you follow a more restrictive form of a vegetarian diet, like a vegan diet, it’s important to understand which ones you can and can’t eat.
First of all, the primary ingredient in chocolate is cacao which is plant-based.
So yes, in its purest form, chocolate is vegetarian and vegan alike.
However, most of the chocolate that you see in stores has been processed with other ingredients, such as milk and other animal by-products. Below is a quick list of the varieties of chocolate.
- Dark Chocolate: This is the purest form of chocolate you’ll find in stores. It has a high percentage of cacao and is usually only mixed with sugar and a binder. Of all the chocolate varieties, this is the most vegan/vegetarian-friendly and is very healthy due to its high levels of antioxidants.
- Milk Chocolate: This is the most common form of chocolate you’ll find. Twix, M&Ms, Hersheys, and other similar candies are traditionally made with milk chocolate. As the name implies, milk chocolate is a mix of cacao, milk ingredients, and sugar. It is vegetarian-friendly, but unless plant-based milk is used, milk chocolate is not vegan-friendly.
- White Chocolate: This type of chocolate is actually not chocolate at all, considering it contains no cacao. Rather, it is a blend of dairy, sugar, and other artificial ingredients, so it is not healthy. It is vegetarian-friendly, but not vegan-friendly.
Top vegetarian & vegan chocolates
- Cadbury Bournville
- Vego Whole Hazelnut Chocolate Bar.
- Mint Chocolate Thins
- Mint Chocolate Waves
- Hotel Chocolat vegan range
- Vivani White Nougat Crisp
- Ombar Coco Mylk Ecuadorian
- Hotel Chocolat 85% dark chocolate fingers
- Vego hazelnut chocolate bar
- Green & Black’s Velvet Edition Dark Chocolate Roasted Almond
- Booja-Booja Fine de Champagne Truffles
For further vegetarian & vegan chocolates (including milk and other treats) check out this link.
So, to wrap things up, chocolate definitely deserves its place in a vegetarian diet. Just be mindful that not all chocolates are created equal, and choose the best type of chocolate for you. When in doubt, dark chocolate is always a safe (and deliciously healthy) choice!