Halacha for Tuesday 2 Shevat 5779 January 8 2019              

Halacha Date: 2 Shevat 5779 January 8 2019

Category: Berachot


A Dish Comprised of Several Kinds of Food

Question: What is the correct blessing on stuffed peppers? Similarly, what is the correct blessing on a cake which has just a little flour but the primary ingredients of the cake are fruits and nuts?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained that when one eats two different foods requiring two different blessings and one is primary and the other secondary to it, one does not recite a blessing on each food individually; rather, one recites a blessing on the primary food and this is sufficient to exempt the secondary food. Thus, if one eats a dish of cooked rice topped with beans, the rice is certainly the primary food in this dish and a “Mezonot” blessing is recited on it and by doing so, the blessing on the beans is exempted since the beans are secondary to the rice.

Grape Leaves or Chicken Stuffed With Rice
Regarding the blessing on grape leaves or peppers stuffed with rice, since most people consider the stuffing the primary food in this dish, which in this case is the rice, one should recite the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing on the filling and thus exempt the blessing on the grape leaves or other vegetables. Nevertheless, if one eats chicken stuffed with rice, in general, the main food in one’s eyes is the chicken and the rice only serves to accompany it; thus, one should recite a “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” blessing on the chicken and not recite any blessing on the rice which is secondary to it.

When One of the Foods is a Grain Derivative
Regarding what we have discussed until now that the blessing on a primary food exempts the secondary food, this law applies only to foods which are not made from grain. However, if two foods are mixed together and one of the foods is a grain derivative, such as wheat or barley flour, the Gemara (Berachot 36b) states that the grain product is always considered primary, for the five types of grain retain an innate significance since they are our primary staples. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 208) rules likewise.

Thus, regarding a fruit cake which is baked with flour, eggs, and dried fruit, even if the fruits greatly outnumber the amount of flour in the cake, the blessing on such a cake is nevertheless “Boreh Minei Mezonot,” for it contains a grain derivative. Similarly, regarding wafers or wafer rolls filled with chocolate, even if one’s primary intention is to eat the chocolate between the various layers of the wafer, one may nevertheless not recite a “Shehakol” blessing on the chocolate, for the wafer is made from a grain derivative and is therefore considered primary and exempts the food secondary to it of its blessing.

The same applies to one who eats a biscuit and places chocolate on it in that one must recite a “Boreh Minei Mezonot” on the biscuit, for the biscuit is primary and the chocolate is secondary to it.

Summary: When a dish is comprised of two kinds of food, one must recite a blessing on the primary food and thus exempt the secondary food. Thus, if one eats grape leaves or pepper stuffed with rice, one should recite a blessing on the rice thereby exempting the blessing on the vegetable, for the rice is the primary food. However, if the secondary food is made from a grain derivative, the grain product is always considered primary. Thus, if a cake contains some flour in order to give it some taste along with fruit and eggs, even if the amount of flour is very small, the cake still requires the “Boreh Minei Mezonot” blessing, for the flour is a grain derivative and is therefore the primary ingredient.

This law involves several other details which will be delineated in the next Halacha.

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