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Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About

A common term in chocolate marketing, the French word couverture translates roughly as “covering.” Couverture is recognized in European Union nations and controlled by EU regulations, but the term has no legal standing in chocolate manufacturing in the United States. European dark chocolate labeled as couverture is subject to guidelines very similar to those that regulate chocolate in the U.S., except that it must contain at least 35 percent cacao and 31 percent fat; dark couvertures nearly always contain a much greater cacao content than the minimum required. In dark chocolate couverture, the fat is almost always 100 percent cocoa butter, although the addition of 5 percent vegetable fat is permitted under EU guidelines, provided that it is clearly stated on the label. Much like the allowable butterfat in dark chocolate in the U.S., this optional fat is not added to the highest-quality products from Europe. The fat content of milk and white couvertures consists of the combination of cocoa butter and the milk fat found in the dry milk in those products.