Milk chocolate is definitely one of the most popular and flavorful types of chocolate out there, but it certainly isn't the healthiest. Milk chocolate is made up of cocoa butter, milk powder or condensed milk, sweeteners and flavorings that are added to the chocolate liquor. Milk chocolate is very often used for garnishes and candy coatings.
All milk chocolate that is produced in the U.S. must contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor and 12 percent whole milk. European rules specify a minimum of 25 percent cocoa solids. Chocolate that contains a low level of chocolate liquor and high amounts of dairy ingredients will result in a mellow chocolate flavor with a typical strong milk and/or caramelized flavor. This is why milk chocolate is often used for making candy bars and many chocolate bars were introduced in the early to mid 1900s.
It was two Swiss men, Henri Nestlé and Daniel Peter, who first invented milk chocolate, back in 1879. They came up with the product by adding powdered milk to existing chocolate recipes. Milton Hershey later brought mass production to this venerable chocolate making industry. In 1926, he used eight thousand acres of dairy farms and 60,000 gallons of fresh, creamy milk from grass fed Holsteins, plus sugar, from his own mill operation in Cuba, to produce milk chocolate.
Milk chocolate is often combined with a variety of other fine tasting food items such as nuts and fruit flavored creams. It can also be filled with assorted liqueurs. Milk chocolate certainly tastes rich, smooth and creamy, but unfortunately it doesn't contain the same health benefits that dark chocolate does. Milk chocolate is especially favored by children as it is often molded into coins, animals and other shapes. It is a sure fire hit at Christmas time and at Easter.
Milk chocolate is made by dozens of well known chocolate companies around the world. A lot of people take their milk chocolate very seriously and there are quite a few websites online that are dedicated to rating milk chocolate from all over the planet. Sugar free milk chocolate is also available as is kosher milk chocolate.