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Bracha on Breakfast Item


Rabbi David Sperling

Tammuz 12, 5774
Granola (made of mainly oats and nuts), with berries and yogurt parfait. Does one make individual brachos on each as they get to that layer? is there on bracha? what would the bracha be on the granola layer? It is a mixture of oats, nuts, oil and spices baked.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Firstly let's look at the blessing on each item by itself. The granola - the nuts, oil and spices are added to the oats to enhance its taste, and as such, they do not need a separate blessing, and are covered with the blessing for the granola itself (just as one does not say a blessing on the salt or ketchup they put on a baked potato, but just says ha-adamah, for example). The question is what bracha does granola need? Granola that is made from rolled oats will depend on how the oats are prepared. Some companies roast or toast them. The blessing on such granola is ha-adamah. Other companies boil the oats before baking them, and then the blessing is mezonot. Thirdly, some companies steam the oats briefly before baking them, in which case there is an argument about the blessing, with some ruling ha-adamah, and others mezonot (from the work Vezot ha-Berachah quoting Harav S.Z. Auerbach zt"l and Harav S.Y. Elyashiv zt"l. See also Vesain Berachah, pg. 505-506 and The Laws of Berachos pg. 369. It could be that the production methods change from time to time). The blessing on yogurt is, of course, shehakol. It is unclear from your question whether the berries are a separate layer, or part of the granola – berries eaten by themselves are either ha-etz (blue and blackberries) or ha-adama (raspberries). Now let us examine the question of the parfait (a layered desert containing layers of fruit, granola, and yogurt). I have not seen any halachic literature on this question directly. The answer may well depend on how the parfait is eaten. If the layers are eaten separately, then it would seem that a separate blessing should be said on each item – as it is no different than if each were served in a separate cup. So you would say a ha-adamah on the granola and berries (one time) and a shehakol on the yogurt. If your granola is of the mezonot type, it will need its own blessing; and if your berries are ha-etz they will also need their own blessing. However, the reason they put all these ingredients into one cup is probably so that you can mix them together and eat some combination of the foods together on each spoonful. If this is the case, then we need to examine two questions. Firstly, does it become one dish or still need two blessings? Most rabbis are of the opinion that even though the items were not cooked together, the fact that you eat them mixed together in the same spoonful means they require one blessing only. Now the question is which blessing? Generally, if one of the items is mezonot, even if it is not the major item, or the most important item, never the less, you say mezonot on it, and it exempts all the other parts of the mixture. But, if there is no mezonot, then if one of the items is clearly the "ikar" or major item, you would say the blessing on it. For example, if in your case you have yogurt (shehakol), granola (ha-adamah) and berries (ha-etz) – but the central item is the yogurt, with the granola and berries being merely accompaniments, you would say only shehakol. If all items are equally important, then you should say the blessing over the one that is the majority (the item that there is the most of). May you merit to eat in good health, and with many blessings.
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