On the Chocolate Trail



1.שו”ת שואל ונשאל חלק ג – אורח חיים סימן פד

Chalfan Moshe HaKohen (1874-1950) lived in Djerba (Island off the coast of Tunisia). Shoel v’Nishal is the title of his collection of responsa.

Question: A Jew dealing with food distribution encountered a problem on Passover because the food contains chametz such as flour, some other grain or pasta and chocolate (which may not have carried a kosher for Passover certification). Instead, he arranged for the non-Jew to buy the food which was kept on the non-Jew’s property. Now that Passover is over, may the Jew now enjoy that food?

Answer: Yes, he may.

Reason: Because he was not involved in the purchase at all. It was not in his property. The Jew is now buying it for the first time and this is the first contact he has with that food.

2.שו”ת חלקת יעקב אורח חיים סימן קצט

Mordechai Yaakov Breisch (1897-1977) lived in Zurich and authored the Chelkat Yaakov responsa collection.

Question: What should be done with chocolate that was made kosher for Pesach? While kashering generally requires water, water cannot be in the chocolate processing system given the cocoa fats. In this case something incorrect happened with the water and the batch was already sent to America. A lot of money is at stake and the rabbi only found out about this after the fact.

Answer: The chocolate may be eaten.

Reason: The only potential problem is that the kashering water may have had crumbs in it. Since they were “annulled” before Pesach, they did not enter into the chocolate. Even though there may be reason to prohibit this chocolate because it may have contained chalav nochri, milk from a non-Jewish source, in such a situation of financial loss, there are those who are more lenient and you may go according to them.

3.שו”ת מנחת יצחק חלק ב סימן קי

Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (1902–1989), also known as the Minchas Yitzchak, was born in Galicia, lived in England and Israel. Minchas Yitzchak is his responsa collection on many contemporary issues.

Question: To help determine the correct b’rachah, are chocolate (and ice cream and sweets), that begin with eating a food product, but end like drinking because they melt, considered food or drink?

Answer: If a kazayit (an amount the size of an olive), is eaten, a blessing after the food must be made. The qualitative difference between eating and drinking has to do with the amount chewed.

Reason: 1) Some rabbis say that sucking is considered eating. 2) Even if it is considered drinking and not eating, the quantity of kazayit is mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch. 3) There is a chance that the melted chocolate/candy was of a quantity that would require a blessing whether it is a drink or a food. This specific reason has to do with a discussion about the thickness of the liquid. If it is runny, it is considered a drink. If it is thicker, a food.

4.תשובות והנהגות כרך א סימן תלח

Rabbi Sternbuch

Question: Which foods should be prohibited because they were made by non-Jews?

Answer: Chocolate is not prohibited, but you should make sure that it has a reliable hechsher.

Reason: 1. Chocolate is not an essential part of the meal. It is eaten because of its good flavor. 2. It is made in a factory and not usually by hand. 3. You should still make sure it has a reliable hechsher to make sure that it does not contain some quantity of non-kosher food.

5.תשובות והנהגות כרך ד סימן קפז

Rabbi Sternbuch

Question: Sometimes meat is taken from the slaughterhouse (which is not kosher because of the way the animal was slaughtered) and through a chemical process, the meat is soaked with water and sulfur acid and activates enzymes, which are then used in chocolate or in frozen vegetables (as taste enhancers). Is this prohibited or permitted?

Answer: After the fact (b’diavad) it is permitted to eat food that has these enzymes in it, but before the fact (l’hatchilah), it is prohibited to use/make these enzymes.

Reason: 1. Because the water and meat are mixed with sulfur acid. The meat is not giving a “meaty” flavor, so it should not be prohibited. 2. Although some may say that since you are using this “ingredient/substance” on a regular basis, it should be prohibited (despite the tiny amount used). It is permitted because there is not even a taste of meat and meat is not normally eaten through its enzymes. It is not a normal way of using meat. 3. Enzymes are so tiny, that we cannot even see them, and that is part of the reason they are permitted.

6.תשובות והנהגות כרך ה סימן קכז

Rabbi Sternbuch

This is just an addition to instructions about kashrut on Pesach, stating that chocolate may have chametz in it, even though the chametz is not mentioned in the ingredients.

On the Chocolate Trail

On the Chocolate Trail