Which blessing should be recited over chocolate covered fruits and nuts?

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Which blessing should be recited over chocolate covered fruits and nuts?[1]

The general law of Ikkur and Tafel: Whenever one eats two foods together then one recites a blessing on the main food [i.e. Ikkur] and with it he exempts the secondary food [i. e. the Tafel].[2] This applies even if the foods are not mixed together but are simply being eaten together.[3] If one’s main intent is on both foods, and they were not mixed into each other or cooked together, then one is to say a blessing on both foods even if one is the majority ingredient over the other.[4]

The debate regarding chocolate covered fruits and nuts: The Poskim debate as to what is considered the main food in chocolate covered fruits and nuts, and thereby debate the blessing that should be said over them. Some Poskim[5] rule that the main intent is on the fruit/nut and therefore its blessing is always Haeitz or Hadama [depending on the nut/fruit]. Other Poskim[6], however, rule that the main food is the chocolate and therefore its blessing is always Shehakol. Other Poskim[7] rule that both the chocolate and fruit/nut are considered the main food, and therefore one is to say a blessing on both. Other Poskim[8] rule that one is to follow whichever of the two are the majority ingredient. This latter approach, however, is clear negated by Admur.[9]

The final suggestive ruling: When eating a chocolate covered nut or fruit, then if one’s main intent of eating is on the fruit or nut [such as if it has a very thin layer of chocolate[10]], then he states the blessing of the filling [Haeitz/Hadama] and exempts with it the blessing of the chocolate. If, however, one’s main intent is on the chocolate [such as if it has a very thick layer of chocolate[11], or if he eats the nut/fruit simply to avoid Bal Tashchis[12]], then its blessing is Shehakol. If one’s main intent is on both the chocolate and the fruit/nut, then one recites two blessings; Shehakol on the chocolate and after eating some of the chocolate, he recites a Haeitz/Hadama on the fruit/nut. When reciting a Shehakol on the chocolate he is to explicitly have in mind to not exempt the fruit/nut that is inside.[13] If, however, one has other Haeitz/Hadama food available, then he is to first say the blessing of Haeitz/Hadama, having in mind to exempt the filling of the chocolate, and then say the blessing on the chocolate.[14]

If one is in doubt as to his main intent: If one is unsure as to what is his main intent, then he has three options available: 1) Separate the chocolate from the filling and first say a blessing on the filling and then a Shehakol on the chocolate.[15] 2) Say a blessing of Shehakol/Haietz/Hadama on other foods and have in mind to include it. 3) Say Shehakol on the chocolate and have in mind to include the fruit/nut.[16]

If one first sucks the chocolate and then eats the nut/fruit: If one plans to first suck the chocolate of the fruit/nut and then eat the fruit/nut afterwards, then some Poskim[17] rule that the blessings nevertheless remain as stated above, and hence if his main intent is on the fruit/nut then only a Haeitz/Hadama is recited.

Chocolate bar with rice or nuts inside:[18] Chocolate bars which contain rice or nut pieces inside are Shehakol according to all.


[1] See Devar Yehoshua 2:115; Vezos Habracha 11:1 p. 96; Piskeiy Teshuvos 204:21

[2] Admur Seder 3:1 “If one is the Ikkur and the second is secondary to it, one says the blessing on the Ikkur and exempts the secondary.”; Luach 4:1; Admur 212:1; Michaber 212:1; Rambam Brachos 3:5; Mishneh Brachos 44a

[3] Admur Seder 3:8 “This applies even if the foods are not mixed together, but one simply is eating them together.”; Luach 4:6; Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; Rambam Brachos 3:5

[4] Admur Seder 7:19 “If the foods were not cooked but are eaten together..then if one’s main intent is on both foods, then we do not follow the majority, and rather one says a blessing over both foods.”; Luach 10:19; Admur 202:13; Admur 202:23 “Here that the nut is not mixed.. we only follow majority if they were cooked together”; Admur 204:17 “If they were not cooked together and they were mixed to be eaten together then we do not follow the majority and rather one needs to recite a blessing on both”; M”A 168:30 [This is unlike the ruling in Admur Seder 3:1 and the Poskim in previous footnote, who rule that whenever one has two foods that are an Ikkur we follow the majority food, as in truth, that ruling refers to a case that the foods were cooked together, or were mixed together. If, however, the foods were not cooked together, and are not mixed together in a way that they are not individually recognizable, which is the case here, then we do not follow the majority. See Admur 202:23; Glosses of Rav Alyashvili on Seder Birchas Hanehnin 3:1 footnote 8]

[5] Elya Raba 204:17; Kneses Hagedola 204:3; P”M 204 A”A 25, brought in M”B 204:51, that sugar coated nuts are Haeitz even if there is a lot more sugar than fruit; M”B 168:45 that one only says Haeitz on jam covered cherries; Shevet Halevi 7:27-5 regarding chocolate coated almonds; So rule regarding nuts which are fried in honey to only say the blessing of Haietz: Admur 202:18-19, and Tosafus, Rabbeinu Yona, Rosh, Tur, Beis Yosef, Bach 202, Taz 202:11, M”B 202:67

[6] Ben Ish Chaiy Pinchas 15 that so is the custom of Bagdad to only say Shehakol on the sugar coating; Beir Moshe 1:7 rules that the chocolate is always the Ikkur and main intent, and hence one is to always say the blessing of Shehakol; Or Letziyon 1:14-4 regarding if it has a thick layer of chocolate; See Michaber 168:8 and 212:2 and M”A 168:23 that one says a Shehakol when eating Jam with thin crackers as the jam is the Ikkur and the crackers are only used so one does not dirty his hands

[7] Yosef Ometz Kadmon p. 51; Ben Ish Chaiy Pinchas 15 that his father would separate the sugar from the almonds and say a blessing on both, a Haietz on the almonds, and a Shehakol on the sugar and he concludes that so should be followed; Igros Moshe 3:31 “His intent is to also eat the fruit…and certainly his intent is also individually on the chocolate, and therefore he must say the blessing on both.”; See M”A 168:5 and Machatzis Hashekel ibid that one says two blessings on jam covered cherries; Admur 204:17 that one says a blessing on the jam and the fruit if they were not cooked together.

[8] Devar Yehoshua ibid; Vezos Habracha 11:4

[9] See Admur ibid in previous footnotes!

[10] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 87; See Or Letziyon 1:14-4 that when it is a thin layer that is when there is room for doubt

[11] Or Letziyon 1:14-4; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[12] Shevet Halevi 7:27-5

[13] Igros Moshe 3:31

[14] Igros Moshe 3:31

[15] Ben Ish Chaiy Pinchas 15 that so was his father’s custom; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[16] Or Letziyon 1:14-4; Devar Yehoshua ibid

[17] Shevet Halevi 7:27-5

[18] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 90

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