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Short Answer: It is a machlokes. The Pri Megadim (משבצות זהב סי' קס"ז סק"י) definitively states that there is no issur to eat without a bracha, merely an obligation to bless before eating. Accordingly, the bracha is a mitzva, not a mattir. דמי אמרה תורה לא תאכל בלי ברכה אלא מצוה עשה לברך קודם, ומ״מ מי שלא בירך המוציא ואוכל ביטל כעין מצות עשה שלא בירך ...


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