On the Chocolate Trail



1.ברכי יוסף מפתח העניינים אורח חיים

Chaim Joseph David Azulai (1724 – 1806), known as the Chida (by the acronym of his name, חיד”א) lived in Jerusalem. Among his publications is Birkei Yosef, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch.

On cocoa one blesses shehakol.

2.שו”ת מנחת שלמה חלק א סימן צא

Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (1910 – 1995), lived in Jerusalem. This responsa collection, Minchat Shlomo, is one of his works.

Question: Which blessing is said on cocoa and chocolate?

Answer: On a cocoa drink – shehakol. On food, or solid cocoa, when mixed with sugar and eaten, most of this mixture is cocoa, and therefore, borei p’ri ha’etz.

Reason: On the one hand, because cocoa is never eaten as it is, and it must be ground and mixed in with other things, it seems that perhaps it should be shehakol. But, because the cocoa did not really change into something new, it is still considered a fruit. This is concluded through comparison to cinnamon.

3.שו”ת שבט הלוי חלק ז סימן כז

Rabbi Shmuel (HaLevi) Wosner (1913 – ), born in Vienna, lives in Israel. Shevet HaLevi is the name of his comprehensive series of halachic rulings on Jewish laws. Several of his other books also bear the same name.

Question: What blessing should be said for eating chocolate?

Answer: Shehakol.

Reason: A lot has been written about this question. Those rabbis who say that bore pri ha’etz is the correct blessing are probably right, but we should not go against the customs of the people. And besides, it is likely that shehakol is the more suitable blessing since chocolate is not purely ground cocoa, which is bitter. Rather, it is mixed in with many other ingredients which probably renders it shehakol.

4.שו”ת שבט הלוי חלק ז סימן כז

Rabbi Wosner

Question: Which blessing should be said on an almond covered in chocolate?

Answer: Borei p’ri ha’etz, even though you eat through the chocolate or candy first.

Reason: Because clearly, the fruit is the essence. But if he plans to spit out the fruit, or he swallows the fruit, but only so that he does not waste it, then he probably should be saying shehakol on the chocolate.

5.שו”ת יביע אומר חלק ח – אורח חיים סימן כה

Rabbi Yosef

Question: This question piggybacks on the previous question in this responsa collection, which was: If one sucks a lemon or apple, is it considered eating (in which case the blessing is borei p’ri ha’etz) or drinking (blessing: shehakol)? And is the quantity requiring a blessing for after, a r’vi’it (the minimum quantity for drinks) or a zayit (minimum quantity for solids)?

The question: How much fruit (that one sucks) do you need to make the blessing that comes after the meal?

Answer: The last paragraph of the answer suddenly mentions chocolate, stating that if you suck chocolate and let it melt in your mouth without chewing it, you are not considered to be eating it, and so even if you ate more than a kazayit, you do not say a blessing after it. Only if you chewed it with your teeth, and ate a kazayit within a certain time, then you would need to make the blessing that comes after chocolate.

Reason: There is a whole big debate about juice sucked out of a fruit, whether it is considered eating or drinking, but it seems that with chocolate it is pretty clear and there is not a big debate that follows it. Because when sucking fruit juice or letting the chocolate melt in your mouth, there is no way that you can get to the amount that would require a blessing in that amount of time (because it is not just the quantity eaten, it also needs to be eaten within a certain amount of time).

6.שו”ת משנה הלכות חלק ו סימן לח

Rabbi Menashe Klein (1924 – ), born in Hungary, lives in Israel. Mishna Halachot is the name of the 17 volume responsa collection he wrote.

Question: What blessing should one say on chocolate?

Answer: Shehakol.

Reason: It is the custom of the world and we do not go against it, specifically because this is a known machloket (disagreement). The blessing on sugar needs to be considered, since that is the main ingredient in chocolate. Perhaps, if one eats pure chocolate that is not mixed with many different ingredients, and only has cane sugar, the blessing for that should probably be borei p’ri ha’etz, but since people do not normally eat chocolate in that way, the blessing is still shehakol.

7.שו”ת משנה הלכות חלק ח סימן כב

Rabbi Klein

Question: What blessing is said on chocolate?

Answer: Shehakol

Reason: If you understand chocolate to be a mix of sugar and cocoa, and you assume that the sugar is superior/more important than the cocoa (since no one would eat the cocoa alone, because it is too bitter), then you would say the blessing on the sugar before the blessing for the chocolate. Since you do not say a blessing on bitter foods (unlike unripe bitter almonds on which you still say the blessing for fruit), you just say shehakol.

8.תשובות והנהגות כרך א סימן קפז

Moishe Sternbuch (1926 – ), born in London, and lives in Jerusalem. Teshuvos VeHanhagos is a responsa collection on the Shulchan Aruch.

Question: Which blessing is said on chocolate?

Answer: Shehakol. If the chocolate is eaten as some kind of remedy for constipation (and the cocoa is not mixed up with too many other ingredients), then you should say borei p’ri ha’etz. (Then again, many others would say that it is better to say shehakol).

Reason: The shape of the fruit is completely changed.

On the Chocolate Trail

On the Chocolate Trail