- Peninei Halakha
During the se’uda ha-mafseket, one may eat as much raw food (e.g., fruits and vegetables) that he wants. If one cooks them, however, they are considered cooked dishes, despite the fact that they are edible even when uncooked.
Cheese, yogurt, butter, and all other dairy products that are pasteurized are not considered cooked, because the pasteurization process is for health reasons, not in order to improve the taste of the food (sa 552:4, Ba’er Heitev ad loc. 5, Kaf Ha-ĥayim ad loc. 13).
If carrots and potatoes were cooked together, one may not eat them at the se’uda ha-mafseket, because they are considered two cooked items. Rather, one may eat either the potatoes or the carrots. Similarly, one may not eat noodles cooked with cheese or lentils cooked with eggs, as these are considered a mixture of two cooked foods and may not be eaten together. Even if one prepares two dishes using the same kind of food, where the only difference between the two is that one is a thin mixture and the other is a thick mixture, they are considered two cooked dishes. Similarly, hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs are considered two dishes. However, if a dish is typically made by mixing two food items, where one is the main ingredient while the other merely adds taste – like rice with some onions added – it is considered one dish (sa 552:3). One who belongs to a community in which mourners customarily eat a particular food, like eggs and lentils, may eat such a dish for the se’uda ha-mafseket, as it is considered a single dish even though it has two main ingredients.
The prohibition applies to both cooked and fried foods, but baked goods – like bread and cake – are not included in the prohibition, as their main purpose is to satiate a person (Eshel Avraham [Buczacz]). Some refrain from eating cake at the se’uda ha-mafseket so as not to enjoy the meal too much. Pizza is considered a cooked dish because of the cheese that it contains.
It is proper to refrain from eating chocolate, snacks, and candy at the se’uda ha-mafseket, because the entire purpose of these foods is to serve as treats, not to satiate a person (see Rema 552:1). However, if there is nothing else available with which to satiate oneself, one may eat them.
Some say that one should avoid pickled foods so as not to enjoy the se’uda ha-mafseket too much. In addition, these might be considered cooked foods (Shiyarei Knesset Ha-gedola, Kaf Ha-ĥayim 552:26). Others maintain that one may eat pickled foods (ahs 552:7).
One may eat a salad of raw vegetables, even dressed, at the se’uda ha-mafseket. However, some recommend against eating fresh, dressed salad, so as not to enjoy the se’uda ha-mafseket too much (Ĥida, Kaf Ha-ĥayim 552:11).
The prevalent custom is not to eat fish at the se’uda ha-mafseket, because it is considered a dignified food, like meat. Some are lenient regarding herring and sardines that were not cooked (see sa 552:2, Kaf Ha-ĥayim ad loc. 18).
Cooked beverages are not considered cooked dishes. Therefore, technically, one may drink beer, ale, coffee, or tea at the se’uda ha-mafseket. However, many poskim rule that one should be stringent, le-khatĥila, and refrain from drinking these beverages, so as not to enjoy the meal too much. One who drinks beer at every meal and has difficulty digesting food without it may drink beer at this meal as well. Coffee and tea are considered less dignified than alcoholic beverages; therefore, one who feels a need to drink them may do so. However, if one is easily able to refrain from drinking them, it is preferable not to drink them. If necessary, one may drink sweet drinks like cola, but one should not drink them just to indulge oneself.