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Berachot: Is Ice Cream Considered a Food or Beverage?

The Poskim discuss whether the Beracha of Hamosi exempts ice cream served during the meal from the Beracha of Shehakol. This depends on whether ice cream is classified as a food or a beverage. If it is a food, then it is not a food normally eaten as part of a meal, and a separate Beracha must be recited. However, if ice cream were considered a liquid beverage, then it would be covered by the Hamosi, which exempts all beverages (except for wine).

Hacham Bension distinguished between different types of ice creams. He classified dairy ice cream made from milk, and sherbets made from eggs as food, whereas sorbets and ices he considered liquids.

Hacham Ovadia disagreed and ruled that all ice creams are considered liquids. It would seem to follow that all ice cream would be covered by Hamosi, like other beverages. Nevertheless, this is not so. Hacham Ovadia holds that Hamosi only exempts beverages normally served as part of the meal. Ice cream is not a regular part of a meal, and is not covered by the Hamosi, even though it is a beverage.

Hacham Ovadiaís children disagree as to their fatherís personal practice on this matter. Hacham Yishak said that Hacham Ovadia would recite a Shehakol on ice cream during the meal, whereas Hacham David said that he would avoid a Safek Berachot (uncertainty in the Halachot of Berachot) and refrain from eating ice cream until after Birkat Hamazon. The best practice is to avoid the debacle and recite a Shehakol on something else or wait until after Birkat Hamazon to eat the ice cream.

The disagreements are only with regard to Hamosi exempting the ice cream. However, all agree that if one made a Boreh Pri Hagefen and drank the wine that no Beracha is necessary on the ice cream. Hagefen exempts all beverages, even ice cream. Therefore, if one made Kiddush Friday night and drank the wine, he would not recite Shehakol on ice cream served during the meal.

To avoid uncertainty, one should wait until after Birkat Hamazon to eat ice cream, unless he drank wine during the meal, which would certainly exempt the ice cream from a Beracha.


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