Although there are varying opinions among the acharonim, the common practice is that only one b'racha rishona is said before eating a mixture of two items that normally require different b'rachos, where the mixture is such that each spoonful or forkful will include both items. (Sources: Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner, The Halachos of Brochos, chapter 4, section C; Rabbi Binyomin Forst, The Laws of B'rachos, chapter 7, section Ⅰ.A.)

Suppose one's about to eat such a mixture, takes a spoonful, is about to say the b'racha required, and notices that his spoonful happens to contain only food items whose normal b'racha is not the mixture's. What should he do?

To clarify, I'll pick a specific example, though my question is about the general case. Suppose someone's about to eat a mixture of very small pieces of pineapple (haadama) and apple (haetz). He takes a spoonful and is about to say the haetz required (because, for whatever reason, the apple is considered primary in this case), but realizes his spoon has only pineapple on it. What should he do?

  • Say haetz on the spoonful even though it's pineapple? (Seems odd, but I seem to recall hearing that when a primary food's b'racha covers a secondary food, the latter is deemed by some to become a food that actually requires the former's b'racha. In that case, perhaps here one says haetz on the pineapple even if eaten alone first.)
  • Say haadama on the spoonful and haetz on the next spoonful (if it contains apple)? (Seems odd also, but it would seem the ideal according to the acharonim, alluded to above, who don't hold only one b'racha is made on the mixture. Note that my question includes the case in which the primary ingredient requires haadama and the other requires haetz (the reverse of the example I gave), which may affect the appropriateness of this option.)
  • Put the spoonful back and take another that contains apple so he can say haetz? (Seems like it should be valid, but I wonder whether it's required.)
  • Something else?
  • Related non-duplicate: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/7784
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 8:03
  • Are you assuming the spoon full has a kzayit on it, or that it's less than a kzayit?
    – avi
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 8:15
  • @avi I'm not assuming either one. If that matters, an answer should explain how, please.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


The answer to your question depends on a "chakira" in how primary and secondary works.

The standard approach is that the blessing on the primary covers the secondary. You make the blessing on the main food and it extends to the other food. This may be because the other food is seen as having become part of the main food, or nullified to it, as your first option suggests. This is the simple understanding, and many poskim are explicit like this (Chazon Ish and others). The Rema in O.C. 212:1 writes that the blessing on the primary only covers the secondary when they are eaten together or the primary is first, but if the secondary is eaten before the primary, it needs a blessing, and the Mishna Berura (212:9) explains that the blessing that you will make afterwords on the primary cannot retroactively cover the secondary, and it would be considered eating without a blessing. However, the Rema concludes that the blessing you would make on the secondary food is Shehakol, and not its normal blessing, as it is merely a secondary food and has lost its ideal blessing.

אבל אם אוכל הטפל תחילה... מברך על האכל תחלה אף על פי שהוא טפל לשתיה. ואינו מברך אליו רק שהכל הואיל והוא טפל לדבר אחר

According to this school of thought, you would make a shehakol on the pineapple in your example.

The more novel approach is that a food that is secondary is not significant enough to require a blessing at all! (Rashba citing the Ba'al HaMeor in Berachos 41b s.v. Amar Rav Papa) According to this approach, the blessing on the primary is not covering the secondary, but rather the secondary does not need a blessing because it is not a significant part of this meal. If that is the case, your spoonfull of pineapple would not get a blessing at all, as it is not significant enough to merit a blessing of its own.

Normative halacha seems to go like the first approach, although there is a Magen Avraham (168:30) that cites a Maharshal which implies the second understanding - He discusses dipping meat into wine during a meal. Since the meat is "tafel" to the bread, and the wine is "tafel" to the meat, you do not make a blessing on the wine, even though he holds that a drink in a meal needs a blessing. The Magen Avraham himself disagrees with the latter point, but has no issue with the internal logic of the Maharshal. This only makes sense if the "tafel" does not need a blessing - if the "tafel" is covered by the blessing of the "ikar," the tafel cannot be nullified or become part of the ikar, as they are not being eaten together at all, and wine is not covered as "part of the meal" with bread the way meat is!

וכן נמי כשנותנין היין בקערה עם המלח(שלצ״א בלעז) כדי לטבל בו הבשר א״צ לבר׳ דה״ל בשר עיקר והבשר כבר נפטר בברכ' המוצי' עכ"ל


The book וזאת הברכה by אלכסנדר אריה מנדלבוים (Jerusalem 5762), chapter 11, pages 93–94, cites Rabbi Sh'lomo Zalman Auerbach as having said that one should, in the spoonful of mixture over which he's saying the blessing, have food representing both b'rachos, but most of it should be food representing the b'racha he will recite.


I would recommend putting the spoon back and getting a mixture. Because in a different case, you could be eating only the pineapples out of the mixture, and thus you would only say the bracha on the pineapples. The other option is to say the bracha on the pineapples, and then only take out apples, and then say the bracha on the apples. And then continue to eat as normal. But since I assume you have a mixture because you actually want a mixture, make sure you eat the mixture.

However, your best option is to say the bracha before you take out any food, and then you can eat whatever you get on your spoon, kzayit or not, since your bracha is covering everything, and not what is on your spoon and you are about to eat.

  • "You should not make a bracha on less than a kzayit of food" ????
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 14:18
  • @DoubleAA Thanks, I was confusing tasting, with eating less than a kzayit.
    – avi
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 14:33
  • 1
    Re your last paragraph: I seem to recall you should hold food you're saying a b'racha on. Anyway, editing in support for your view would be good.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 16:05
  • 1
    If the spoon you are holding contains only one thing, then the question of making a brocho on a mixture doesn't occur. You don't have a mixture! Make ho'adomo on that spoonful and see what comes up in the next spoonful. Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 20:28

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