What do poskim say the bracha is for dark chocolate that has more than 50% cacao in it as the package claims (being that the majority ingredient is cacao)?

(I've seen an opinion who says (Vzot Habracha p. 103 in the name of R' Elyashiv) that we make a shehakol on chocolate even though it warrants a ha'eitz, because there are other ingredients mixed in (they add in parenthesis that there were other reasons for the psak but do not mention the factors). My case would seem to be an exception to that because it is rov cacao.)

  • I'm really curious to know what R Elyashiv's actual view is. According to the questioner in Shevet Halevi 7.27.2, R' Elyashiv holds it is he'eitz (and doesn't mention any qualifications for the amount or type ingredients). Commented May 28, 2015 at 23:29
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    An article from R' Kaganoff about what bracha to make on chocolate: yeshiva.co/midrash/shiur.asp?id=6500. According to R' Kaganoff cocoa butter should be a shehakol. This complicates matters, because even if there's >50% cacao in the bar, there may not be >50% cacao solids but rather mostly cocoa butter. Commented May 29, 2015 at 3:26

2 Answers 2


The opinion that you quote is most likely that of R' Shlomo Zalman Aurbach, and can be found in Minchas Shlomo 1:91 beis. In truth, he says this as a post facto justification of the normative practice to make shehakol on chocolate even though he believes the beracha should have been ha'eitz.

However, his point is not merely that it is a minority ingredient - his point is that since it is only eaten through being mixed with other ingredients such that it is usually a minority ingredient, and it isn't really edible in its pure form, then it has lost its חשיבות, its significance, and even when it is a majority ingredient it has lost its significance and gets a shehakol. If you eat pure cocoa with sugar and the majority is cocoa, however, he concludes that you should, indeed, make a ha'eitz.

  • +1 good thing I read your link. I was wondering if his svara would help be mivatel the raw fish in sushi, but he focuses on the fact that cocoa gets ground up.
    – user6591
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:06
  • @user6591 I was about to ask about eating plain Hershey's cocoa as it is in the "can", but your comment answered my question, MOSTLY. The one part it doesn't answer falls within the area of "what do most people do?" Generally, if most people don't eat a fruit / veg raw, you make shehakol on it. As most don't eat raw chocolate, therefore, shouldn't you make shehakol too if you ate baker's chocolate?
    – DanF
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:22
  • @DanF you started with raw chocolate and then went to baker's chocolate. If you meant raw chocolate, see Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim 203:7 and Mogen Avrohom 202:18, which should answer your question. If you meant baker's chocolate, then (assuming I understand what baker's chocolate is) that would be included in what RSZ was saying, and you would indeed make shehakol. Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:29
  • @DanF plain bakers chocolate, according to the logic in that tshuva would seemingly not get a bracha at all! He compares it to the olive oil of the gemara. That's what it seems like he's saying, although he is only discussing chocolate mixed with sugar.
    – user6591
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:49
  • srugim.co.il/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 17:37

I Heard from (רבי יחזקא-ל ראטה (קארלסבורג רב (Rabbi Y. Roth Karelsburger Rav), That the reason why Chocolate is שהכל (shehakol) is because originally Chocolate was only consumed as a drink, therefore it got the ברכה (Bracha) of שהכל (shehakol), like all fruit juices ( Besides grape juice ), and even though the fact has changed over the years, that we eat chocolate as a food the ברכה (Bracha) isn't changed.

But in the case that the chocolate has some העץ (ha'eitz) on it ( like Viennese crunch etc. ) the ברכה (Bracha) is העץ (ha'eitz).

According to that in your case no matter the % of cacao the ברכה (bracha) should be שהכל (shehakol).

  • "But in the case that the chocolate has some העץ (ha'eitz) on it ( like Viennese crunch etc. ) the ברכה (Bracha) is העץ (ha'eitz)." - The chocolate is ikkar and the nuts are tafel, in this case. Why would this warrant saying ha'etz? (also, if the nuts are peanuts, at least it would be adamah, anyway.)
    – DanF
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:25
  • Because originally the ברכה should've been העץ it is just שהכל because it wasn't eaten only as a drink, However in a case that you have anything else העץ you can re-institute the ברכה it should've gotten to begin with. Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:30
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    Why doesn't the bracha change now that usage has changed?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:32
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    Cause once we are "Kovea" a ברכה on a food we don't change it according to it's current use. Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:35
  • Your last comment seems to contradict the 2nd one, above. First, you said that it should have been העץ but b/c it was used mainly as a drink, it became שהכל. So it seems that originally it WAS changed b/c of its usage. What have I missed in the explanation?
    – DanF
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 20:44

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