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Could someone kindly explain to me what Mazonot means? I recenlty attended a charity do where the bread rolls were described as mazonot. Another person at the table explained to me that this meant that Hamotze and bentching were not required (which seemed rather odd to me, but indeed neither took place).

Many thanks!

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See also: mi.yodeya.com/questions/3248/mezonos-bread (Although the question and answer here are both clearer, in my opinion.) –  Isaac Moses Oct 26 '10 at 14:10
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"Borei Minei Meznonot" ("who creates forms of sustenance") is the bracha (blessing) made before foods that aren't "bread", but are still made primarily of wheat, barley, spelt, oats, or rye. Pasta and cheerios, for instance, are "mezonot", not "hamotzee" (bread). Afterwards, instead of full bentching, there's a much shorter blessing, Al HaMichya (it's about one paragraph long).

There are some foods that blur the line between the categories of bread and non-bread. No matter how much pasta you eat, it's always "mezonot." Certain breadlike products, however, (let's say a cinnamon bun) are more complicated, and may depend on how much you're eating and whether it's a meal or a snack. This is the logic behind the common practice that one slice of pizza is "mezonot", but two or more is "hamotzee" and needs bentching afterwards.

Many breadlike products can be made with apple juice instead of water, and according to many rabbis this means they're no longer "bread" and instead the bracha is mezonot. So you can buy a package of "mezonot rolls", as you'd probably seen here.

Some rabbis feel that the apple-juice trick doesn't work, it's still bread and therefore hamotzee. I believe the London Beth Din is more open to the idea of mezonot bread, and America's Orthodox Union less so; so ask your rabbi.

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Thank you - that's a really clear explanation. –  user196 Oct 26 '10 at 12:43
    
An additional point of interest: Although a bracha of shehakol should suffice for all foods, Chazal established different brachos based on a) specificity (so if the food is from the ground it's haadama, tree is haetz; and b) the prominance of the food. When a food satiates a person, it becomes important and gets a mezonos (corn is mezonos acc. to some). When a food becomes a bread- a staple of a meal, it has even more importance and gets a special bracha- hamotzi. So Shalom's answer deals with the fine line between being a staple food, or just another filling food. –  YDK Oct 26 '10 at 16:50
    
@YDK Who holds corn is mezonot? –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 6:47
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@DoubleAA, Rabbeinu Yona in the "name" of a gaon (Brachos 26 in the Rif) (possibly the Rosh, too) hold that orez is lav davka. Any food which is particularly satiating is mezonos, even if it less so than orez. Rather starchy foods would fit the bill. Potatoes, as well. (Although I would exclude baby corn which is used in Chinese food and I always end up hungry at the end ;) Also brought in the Tur hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14265&st=&pgnum=357. I just picked corn as an example. You can argue in metzius how satisfying the produce has to be. –  YDK Feb 5 '12 at 18:21
    
@YDK Thanks! [15] –  Double AA Feb 5 '12 at 18:32
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