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Author:  Aric
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/27/2003 3:40:00 PM
Subject:  Chocolate
Message:  HaRav,

I wrote in two weeks ago regarding the bracha on chocolate being HaEtz instead Shehakol and have not gotten a response.

My question was: Even though cocao nuts grow from a tree, the chocolate that we eat is cocao that is processed with alkali, ground to a powder, mixed with other ingredients (milk, oil, sugar, etc.), and then formed into something that looks nothing like the nut that came from the tree. I think that the Hebrew term is "Ibed et Tzurato" for something that has lost its original form. In these cases where a food cannot be identified as what it originally was due to losing it's form, the bracha changes from haetz or haadamah to shehakol.

Wouldn't chocolate fall into this category, much like pringles potato chips which are mashed potatoes that are formed into chip shape and fried? The bracha on those are shehakol...same with mashed potatoes.

Since we are on this subject...would cognac and brandy fall into the same category? They are wines which are then distilled. Wine is boiled and the steam collected, condensed, and bottled. Would the beracha be shehakol or hagefen? (Artscroll says shehakol). Would we be able to drink cognac and brandy from non-kosher wines, since the wine is then boiled (even if it is boiled by a non-Jew)?

Thanks in advance and I am looking forward to your reply.

Hatzlacha Rabba,
Aric
   
Reply:  The main product is the chocolate. People are always misunderstanding that concept in Shulchan Aruch. Just leave it. It does not refer to that. If that's the case, then french fries would be Shehakol. Ibed Tzurato is pureed or modified to an extreme causing it not to be the regular product. Applesauce is Ha'Etz, Pringles are Ha'Adamah, Toffuti is Ha'Adamah. Strawberries are Ha'Adamah, sliced strawberries are Ha'Adamah. and so on....
I don't really know what cognac tastes like and what it is.... If it is a wine, then why not Hagefen? cooked wine is still Hagefen.
AA

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