Halacha for Sunday 8 Tammuz 5784 July 14 2024

Tortillas and Wraps

Question: What is the proper blessing on a tortilla or wrap?

Answer: Tortillas and warps are form of very thin bread. Some are made from wheat with copious amounts of oil or fruit juice mixed in and are whose taste is easily discernable. In such a case, there is no question that the blessing would be “Boreh Minei Mezonot,” as is the case regarding any cakes or cookies.

Nevertheless, most tortillas and wraps manufactured nowadays are made of wheat using little or no oil or fruit juice.

Regarding baked goods made from a soft (viscous) batter, such as blintzes and pancakes, the Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 168) rules that they require a Mezonot blessing, for they do not retain the form of bread. An example of this can be found in the Gemara (Berachot 38b): “Abaye said, Tarita is exempt from taking Challah.” Anything that does not need Challah to be taken likewise requires the Mezonot blessing, as Maran rules: “Tarita, i.e., flour and water mixed together into a batter and poured onto a stove where it spreads and bakes, does not retain the form of bread and therefore requires the Mezonot and ‘Al Ha’Michya’ blessings.”

However, tortillas and wraps are made from thick doughs which are later flattened on a press and baked on a hot plate (as described by the Yalkut Yosef, Chapter 168, Section 13 quoting professional tortilla makers) and the appropriate blessing on them would be Hamotzi, similar to any other thin bread one would eat, such as a laffa and the like.

Although there are those who claim that the fact it is so thin removes it from having a bread form, halachically speaking, there is no distinction between different thicknesses of bread and as long as it is made from thick dough and then baked into bread, the correct blessing is “Hamotzi Lechem Min Ha’aretz.”

Tortillas and wraps made from corn, almond, lentil, or chickpea flour require the Shehakol blessing. Those made from rice flour require the Mezonot and “Boreh Nefashot” blessings.

Thus, when attending the buffet prior to the Chuppah at a wedding and wraps are served, in general, one will have to wash “Netilat Yadayim” and recite the Hamotzi blessing.

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