Ask The Rabbi

New Twist on Licorice

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Bracha, Licorice

[Name & email withheld] wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

What is the correct blessing for licorice? Since it contains flour we always said "mezonot." However I saw recently in the Artscroll book on brachot that it is "shehakol" because the flour is only to give it body. So what? It certainly adds to the flavor!


Dear [Name & email withheld],

As you know, the blessing over a food is determined by the type of the food it is. In a mixture, the "main" ingredient determines the blessing. What is the main ingredient in licorice?

Flour, because of its importance as a dietary staple, is usually considered the main ingredient in any mixture, even if there is only a little bit of flour in the mixture. However, if the purpose of the flour is only to bind the other ingredients, then the flour is considered secondary and doesn't determine the blessing. So regarding licorice, if it's eaten mainly for the sugar content and the flour acts mainly as a binder, the blessing would be shehakol.

Sources:

  • Shulchan Aruch 208,2
  • Sefer VeZot HaBracha (Mendelbaum) Chap. 12 p. 110
  • Sefer Pitchei Halacha (Forst) Appendix 2 (Letters) Ch 24


 
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