Sunday, 12 November 2017

Beracha on Tasting Food

Question: I regularly taste food while cooking. Should I say a beracha?
Answer: Rambam (Berachos 1:2) writes that one does not need to recite a beracha before tasting food, though Rabbeinu Chananel (quoted by Tosefos, Berachos 14a) writes that one does need to unless one spits the food out (See Tur OC 210:2).
Thus, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 210:2) writes that one who tastes less than a revi’is of food doesn’t need to say a beracha if they spit it out, though there are opposing views as to whether one does say a beracha if they swallow the food or not. The Mishna Berura (210:19) writes that the Shulchan Aruch sides with Rambam, meaning that one wouldn’t say a beracha regardless if they swallowed some food or not. The Rema adds that safek berachos lekula, when there is a doubt as to whether one needs to say a beracha, we follow the lenient view as (most) berachos are derabanan.
Nonetheless, the Mishna Berura (ibid., Shaar Hatziyun 210:30) notes that the Magen Avraham disagrees with the Shulchan Aruch and the Rema, writing that one should say a beracha if they are going to swallow any food. Thus, he writes that one should avoid any such doubt by intending on properly eating and benefiting from some of the food so that they need to say a beracha. Regardless, the Mishna Berura (210:13) concedes that if one isn’t intending on eating the food, but is just tasting it before it’s cooked to see if it needs further spicing, etc. or to see if it tastes good once cooked, one doesn’t need to recite a beracha.
The Kaf Hachaim (OC 210:29) disapproves of spitting out food. One would only say a beracha if they tasted fully cooked food, in which case they should take a proper bite, but not if they tasted food that was still cooking.
In conclusion, it is ideal to avoid the question by saying a beracha on other food first. Otherwise, if one thinks they will enjoy tasting the food, they should have a proper bite and say the beracha. If tasting to see if the food is ready, etc. then they don’t need to recite a beracha.

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