Wheat and Grain Products
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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
The five grains (wheat, barley…)
- The Bracha of Mezonot is only applicable to food that are made from the five grains (which will be enumerated below). The other conditions in order for a food to require Mezonot are explained below.
- The five grains which our Rabbis designated as the fundamental grains that provide sustenance to man are wheat, barley, spelt, oat, and rye. 
- Cooked bulgur is one of the five grains and is mezonot.
- Any food which is made from flour of one of the grains and it was cooked is Mezonot and the Bracha Achrona is Al HaMichya. Even if there is a majority of other ingredients the Bracha remains Mezonot. As long as the purpose of adding flour is to fill one up, give a taste to the food, or make the food more fit for consumption the Bracha is Mezonot.  This is only true when the taste of the flour is recognizable. 
- The major exception to the above rule is when the grain flour is added only in order to bind, harden, soften, impart a color, or smell the Bracha is made upon the other ingredients of the food (and not Mezonot because of the flour). even if there’s a majority of flour the Bracha isn’t mezonot. [However, this is very uncommon.]  For an example of this, see #Licorice.
If one eats a grain product as a meal
- There are two types of grain products that require mezonot. If a grain was ground up and then made into a cooked dish (Tavshil Mezonot) such as oatmeal or a baked good (Pas HaBah Bekisnin) such as cake, the appropriate Bracha would be Mezonot. However, a cooked dish requires Mezonot even if one establishes it into a meal  whereas Pas HaBah Bekisnin requires Mezonot if eaten as a snack, but HaMotzei if established as a meal. See further details at Making a meal on Mezonot 
Oatmeal and farina
- Hot cereals made from the five grains, farina, and oatmeal have Bracha Rishona of Mezonot and Bracha Achrona of Al HaMichya (even if one makes a meal out of it)  unless it is made with a watery consistency. 
- If the grain is mixed into the food in order to bind the ingredients together the Bracha is not Mezonot. 
- Licorice is Shehakol because even though it contains flour, the flour is only used as a binding agent. 
For the bracha on raw, roasted, and puffed grains, see the Raw or roasted grain page. A common example of this category is granola. See that page for details.
Text of bracha
- See the Text of Brachot#Mezonot page.
- What's the bracha on bulgur/bulgar? see above
- Rav and Shmuel in Gemara Brachot 35b say that Mezonot is only made upon the five grains. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 208:2 codifies this as halacha.
- The Gemara Pesachim (35a) identifies the five grains which were distinguished by Chazal as חטים שעורים כוסמין ושיפון ושיבולת שועל. Rambam (Brachot 3:1-3) writes that these grains are the same five which Chazal choose to be Mezonot when made in a cooked dish and HaMotzei when made into bread. Tur 208:1 and Mishna Brurah 208:2 codify this as halacha. [Halacha Brurah (Shaar HaTziyun 208:13) writes that this is accepted by all poskim.]
- What is the definition of these grains? Veten Bracha (Halachos of Brochos by Rabbi Bodner pg 480, chapter 27) defines the five grains as wheat, barley, spelt, oat, and rye. Vezot HaBracha (chap 12, pg 102) writes that even though some argue that שיפון isn’t rye and שיבולת שועל isn’t oat, nonetheless, he quotes the Mekor Bracha (26:3) who establish that the generally accepted definitions of rye and oat are correct. The Laws of Brachos (Rabbi Forst, chap 8, pg 230) emphasizes this point by stating that these definitions are supported by the Rishonim and are totally accepted as halacha despite the argument of modern scholars who use methods of questionable halachic value. Rabbi Efrati (Mesorah v. 10 p. 66) endorses this approaches and addresses the questions about the identification of oats as shibolet shual.
- Rabbi Hershel Schachter (min 79-82) fundamentally doesn't agree that oats are considered a grain, however, he concludes that since American oats (from which Cherrios used to be made) have a significant amount of gluten in them the correct bracha is mezonot. Rav Willig in Am Mordechai Brachot agrees.
- Are shibolet shual, shifon, and kusmin shivat haminim? This has applications for bikkurim and reciting al peroteha. Yerushalmi Brachot 6:1 at the end and Tosefta Brachot 4 imply that they're not shivat haminim. Hagahot Maimoniyot Brachot 8:300 cited by Bet Yosef 211:6 also implies this. Peni Yehoshua Pesachim 36b s.v. tos s.v. otzey and Brachot 35a s.v ma says so explicitly. Tzlach 36b s.v. tos s.v. otzey agrees. Rabbi Akiva Eiger on Bikkurim 1:3 cites the Peni Yehoshua. Derech Emunah Bikurim 1:19 rules like the Peni Yehoshua. Meromei Sadeh Brachot 44a s.v. vha assumes like the Peni Yehoshua.
- However, Magen Avraham 168:6, Madanei Yom Tov on Rosh Brachot 6:21:300, Aguda Brachot ch. 6 n. 149 all answer that it is indeed part of the shivat haminim but the Tosefta means that it isn't explicit in the pasuk. Those who hold that shibolet shual, shifon, and kusmin are shivat haminim: Tosfot Pesachim 36b according to the Maharsha, Rashash Pesachim 36b s.v. tos s.v. otzey, Or Chadash Pesachim 36b, Tosfot Harash Pesachim 36b s.v. otzey, Tosfot Harosh 36b, Rabbenu Dovid 36b s.v. otzey, Chiddushei Haran 36b s.v. otzey, Yerushalmi Challah 1:1 (according to Maharach Or Zaruah 218 and Peni Moshe s.v. ein) , and Tur OC 208:1.
- Vezot Habracha (pg 105)
- In Gemara Brachot 36b, Rav and Shmuel say that anything which has (flour from) the five grains is mezonot. (This is known the rule of Kol SheYesh Bo.) This is quoted by the Rif (Brachot 26a), Rosh (Brachot 6:7), and Rambam (Brachot 3:4) and codified by Tur and Shulchan Aruch 208:2.
- Tosfot 36b s.v. Kol writes that if the flour is added in order to fill one up then the food is Mezonot, whereas if it’s added as a binding agent it’s not mezonot. Moreover, the Rashba (Brachot 36b s.v. Duvsha) writes that if the flour is added in order to give a taste or make the food more fit for consumption the Bracha is Mezonot. This is quoted by the Bet Yosef 208:2 and codified as halacha by the Mishna Brurah 208:7.
- Rosh (Brachot 6:7) writes that even if there is a majority of other ingredients flour is primary and the Bracha is Mezonot. Bet Yosef 208:2 proves this from the language of the Gemara. The S”A 208:2 codifies this as halacha.
- Beiur Halacha 208:9 s.v. Mivarech says that even though the Taz holds that once flour is added the Bracha is Mezonot whether or not the taste of flour is recognizable, nonetheless, many achronim argue on the Taz. Mishna Brurah 208:49 and Halacha Brurah 208:7 conclude that the Bracha is Mezonot only if the taste of the flour is recognizable.
- In Gemara Brachot 36b, Rav and Shmuel say that anything which has (flour from) the five grains is mezonot. However, on Gemara Brachot 39a Rav Huna states that a cooked dish made out of beets and flour is HaAdama because the flour added was only meant to bind the food together.
- Tosfot 36b s.v. Kol writes that if the flour is added in order to fill one up then the food is Mezonot, whereas if it’s added as a binding agent it’s not mezonot. The Rif (Brachot 27b), Rosh (Brachot 6:17), and Rambam (Brachot 3:6) quote this differentiation. The Tur and S”A 208:2 codify this as halacha.
- Additionally, the Rosh (Brachot 6:7) writes that if the flour was added in order to harden the food the Bracha isn’t mezonot. Also, the Rambam (Brachot 3:6) writes that if the flour was added as a binding agent or only in order to impart a color or smell the food isn’t mezonot because of the flour. Sh”t Avnei Nezer 38:2 writes that if one adds flour only in order to soften the food so that someone who doesn’t have teeth could eat it the Bracha is made on the other ingredients.
- Therefore, Halacha Brurah 208:5 rules that if it’s used only in order to bind, harden, soften, impart a color, or smell the Bracha is made upon the other ingredients of the food.
- Halacha Brurah 208:6
- S”A 208:2
- S”A 168:6
- Halacha Brurah 208:5
- The Gemara Brachot 36b records that everyone agrees that Daysa is Mezonot. Rashi (s.v. Daysa) explains that Daysa is (a cooked dish) made from crushed up wheat. This ruling is implied from the Rif (Brachot 25b), Rosh (Brachot 6:7), and Rambam (Brachot 3:4) and codified by Tur and Shulchan Aruch 208:2. Therefore, The Laws of Brachos (Rabbi Forst, pg 272) and Halachos of Brachos (Rabbi Bodner, chap 27, pg 532, and Brachos handbook pg 64) rule that oatmeal and farina is Mezonot and Al HaMichya. Halachos of Brachos adds that even if one makes a meal (Koveh Seuda) out of oatmeal the bracha is still Mezonot.
- Halacha Brurah 208:5 rules that hot cereal which are made out of the five grains is Mezonot unless it is very thin and watery. This is also the ruling of Vezot HaBracha (chap 12, pg 107) that oatmeal cereal is mezonot unless it's very thin and pours like a liquid (he adds that if one pushes the grain to one side of the bowl and it remains there as a clump and doesn't spread out right away it's considered a food and not a drink).
- S”A 208:3
- Vezot HaBracha (pg 108, chapter 12), An article on OU.org. Rav Yisrael Belsky in Shulchan HaLevi (3:14, p. 37) writes that licorice is Shehakol since the flour in only added for texture.