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Under what conditions does one say a beracha upon tasting food which one is cooking? For some foods there may be a point during cooking, before which, the food would be considered inedible e.g. pasta, rice, potatoes, aubergine, etc.

If there is a safek as to whether the food is cooked through, would it be considered a safek beracha and therefore we would be lenient not to say a beracha?

(I am only asking about those things which would be considered inedible prior to cooking).

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Are you going to swallow the food? –  Avrohom Yitzchok Nov 18 '13 at 19:46
    
See here and here, which broadly address the questions of tasting versus eating and tasting after cooking to determine quality (which I understand is not exactly your question, but may have bearing on it). –  Fred Nov 18 '13 at 20:08
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/30518 –  Fred Nov 18 '13 at 21:12
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1 Answer

Mishna Berura 210:13:

‏{יג} הטועם וכו' - דאע"ג דאסור ליהנות מן העוה"ז בלא ברכה אפילו כל שהוא בין באכילה בין בשתיה היינו כשמכוין לאכול ולשתות אבל הכא שאין כונתו אלא לטעום לידע אם צריך מלח או תבלין א"צ ברכה לא לפניה ולא לאחריה ואפילו אם הוא אוכל קצת מהמאכל אחר הבישול [שאין ביכלתו לתקן אז המאכל] ורק לידע אם הוא טוב ג"כ מצדדים הא"ר והפמ"ג דגם זהו בכלל טעימה אחרי שאין כונתו לשם אכילה

That is: If one is tasting a bit of food for quality or to adjust the seasoning, he says no blessing.

Mishna Berura 210:19:

‏{יט} וספק ברכות להקל - היינו באפילו אם הוא בולע לא יברך כיון שאין כונתו לאכילה וכסברא הראשונה. והנה המ"א חולק על השו"ע והרמ"א וס"ל דבבולע לכו"ע חייב לברך אבל כמה אחרונים החליטו עם פסק הרמ"א דהוא ספק ברכה ולא יברך ולכתחלה טוב ליזהר הרוצה לבלוע שיתכוין ליהנות ממנו בתורת אכילה ויברך עליו [ח"א]‏

That is: …and that's even if he swallows. (Some differ; therefore, ideally, if you wish to swallow it, intend to enjoy it also and recite the blessing.)

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To summarize: The Mishna B'rura follows the ruling that tasting (without swallowing) to examine the quality of the food does not require a b'racha. If someone wishes to swallow the food, there is more of a controversy. Therefore, the Mishna B'rura rules that the swallower should intend to eat the food as such (rather than merely taste it), ensuring that a b'racha is necessary. (In the OP's case, if you in fact find the food inedible but swallow anyway, you would seemingly not recite a b'racha). –  Fred Nov 18 '13 at 20:56
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