Whenever I talk to people who say they could never go vegan (vegetarians included), they often say it’s because of two foods: cheese and chocolate. But not all chocolates are off limits. Obviously, milk chocolate is not an option for vegans, but what about dark chocolate? The answer is: sometimes.
Not all dark chocolates are vegan, but some are. So, you can’t just look at a candy that says it’s dark chocolate and automatically assume it’s vegan. You can, however, assume there’s a good chance it is vegan and then check the ingredients to be sure. By law, if a food has milk in it, it must be listed in bold letters on the packaging. That is because milk is an allergen, and it’s illegal to sell a food that can or may contain allergens without making it clearly visible on the packaging.
Dark Chocolate Ingredients
When you check the ingredients on a bar of dark chocolate, you’ll probably notice it contains cocoa butter. Do not worry, though. Cocoa butter does not actually contain butter. It is made from edible vegetable fats and, of course, cocoa. Now, what you do have to be wary of are dark chocolate candies that are more than just a piece of chocolate. For example, candies with fillings or extra toppings. If a piece of dark chocolate has a filling or other pieces of candy in it, those extra ingredients may contain gelatin, eggs or milk and/or milk derivatives.
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If you’ve read this blog before, you may already know that sugar is not always vegan; or, you might just know that already because you’re smart. Either way, dark chocolate contains sugar, and sugar is always questionable if you don’t know the source, so keep that in mind.
What to Do if Someone Offers You an Unwrapped Piece of Dark Chocolate?
If you find yourself in this situation, which is not unlikely to occur, it’s really up to you. If you choose to accept the chocolate, you have to realize that there is a chance it might contain milk or some other type of animal product, even though it is dark chocolate, which by definition is not supposed to contain any milk. If the chocolate has some kind of creamy or jelly center, then I can assure you it most likely contains animal products and you should not accept it.