If a vegetable is eaten raw only if it is in a salad, what bracha should I make on it if eating it plain? As one example, cabbage is usually eaten raw only when it is mixed with mayo, as in cole slaw, or other dressings as in red cabbage salad. I would assume, then, that you would say "ha'admah". (Let's assume the coleslaw has no carrots or other veggies, so the adamah is not for the carrots.) So, if I eat a plain piece of raw cabbage, should I say "ha'admah" as well?

  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/38501 – msh210 Jul 29 '14 at 6:22
  • I'll have to dig up the se'if, but I remember learning a Kitzur on this very case. Unfortunately, I don't remember what he paskened. :/ – DonielF Aug 11 '16 at 20:08
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    What if you are eating a hadama salad and the last piece of salad is cabbage, does the bracha switch to shehakol? – Clint Eastwood Aug 12 '16 at 22:05
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    @ClintEastwood I got the impetus of your question. But, in your case, you would still be considering a case of "ikkar / tafel" (main dish vs. "extras") if that were a consideration, here at all. It's in the same category as a fruit salad that has mainly apples and cherries with minority pineapple. The bracha is just ha'etz as that's the majority. – DanF Aug 15 '16 at 15:39

It might be possible to infer this from the wording of the Mishna Berura 205 (1) [4] where he says:

שלאטי"ן מעורב עם שמן וחומץ בפה"א אף בחיין.

Lettuce mixed with oil and vinegar takes the blessing “borei pri ha'adamah" even when the lettuce is raw.

Since the MB says that the blessing "ha'adamah" applies when it is mixed with oil and vinegar, we might deduce that if it is not so mixed, that blessing does not apply.

A possible objection to this view might come from the fact that the bitter herbs eaten at the Passover Seder needs the blessing "ha'adamah". Those who use lettuce for moror (as recommended by the Shulchan Oruch) do not eat it with oil and vinegar!

The Beer Heiteiv in 475 (2) {12} speaks about whether to make a blessing "ha'adamah" on moror which is not normally eaten raw. The Mogein Avrohom would not make a blessing "ha'adamah" and the ח״י says that on all moror we do make the blessing "ha'adamah".

The moror is eaten after dipping it in charoses (and shaking the charoses off). So we might say that because of this it gets the blessing "ha'adamah". Or maybe not.

On balance, IMHO, it is reasonable to say that if the vegetable is never eaten raw except when it is in a salad, then when eating it plain it should take the blessing “shehakol”. CYLOR of course!

  • Very good analysis. I have to view the MB. You've given me good "food" for my rav. He enjoys delving into these challenging areas. – DanF Aug 16 '16 at 17:06
  • Please report back on the outcome of the discussion with your Rav. – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 18 '16 at 17:16

Shulchan Aruch 202:16 reads:

On dried pepper and ginger… and anything that, like them, is not eaten except in a mixture, one says no b'racha at all.

However, this seems not to be quite as broad in practice as it sounds. Mishna B'rura :79, for example, notes that the no-b'racha on dried pepper and ginger is because "there's no pleasure from them at all". In contrast, SA 204:1 includes plain salt as something a b'racha is said on (Mishna B'rura there says it's "because one has a bit of pleasure"), and Mishna B'rura 204:24 includes some vinegars.

Those are some sources. For a practical ruling, as always, consult your rabbi.

  • I'm placing a bounty on this question. Something here seems insubstantial. Dried pepper and ginger are used as seasonings, and salt is considered a seasoning and is not a vegetable. I assume its bracha would be shehakol, regardless, but, perhaps, you can confirm this for me? The general assumption on the status of raw veggies seems to follow regional customs. I also think that dried veggies may have a different status re brachot, but I may be wrong. Unless I misunderstand what they mean by "pepper", here. Perhaps, it's black pepper, so therefore, eating peppercorns gets no bracha. Again, a Q. – DanF Aug 11 '16 at 17:44

I think we can deduce the general rule about this from the case of sesame seeds. They are not normally eaten by themselves - at the very least they are together with honey (ie sesame bars), and the brocha is haadama in such a case (unless they become tafel to something else). Yet, they still 'retain' the bracha of haadama even in the unusual case of being eaten by themselves (see What bracha should one make when eating raw sesame seeds?).

  • Jay. I suggest that you move this answer to my other related question that is specific about sesame seeds. I think you may have gotten confused as to which question you were answering. – DanF Aug 12 '16 at 13:33
  • @DanF - I may be incorrectly understanding what you are asking here. I understand you to be asking about the bracha for something which is usually only eaten when it is together with something else - in the case of raw cabbage, this would be dressing or mayo. Sesame is similarly only eaten when together with other things - honey at the very least. How are sesame seeds substantially different from cabbage, which is your example in the question? – Jay Aug 12 '16 at 13:54
  • My question here isn't specific to sesame seeds. Also, in cole slaw, the cabbage is ikar, so its clear that it would require a bracha of some sort. When sesame seeds are used as a topping, I think it's tafel. So, I'm not sure that you can make the same analogy regarding brachot, there. – DanF Aug 12 '16 at 14:20
  • Even if I con-seed your distinction, sesame seeds in honey are NOT tafel, so they are analagous. And regardless of whether you were asking specifically about sesame seeds - you still see general the rule from this instance, unless you have a reason to differentiate and can show it's specific to sesame seeds. – Jay Aug 12 '16 at 14:25
  • I'm editing my answer to address the distinction you mentioned. – Jay Aug 12 '16 at 14:30

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