Ask the Rov: As the weather begins to warm up, I often give my children ice cream in a cone as a treat. However, I’m unsure about the proper bracha. Should they make a bracha on the ice cream, the cone, or both?
By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin, Rov of Anash in Petach Tikva
When one eats two foods that are mixed together, one makes a bracha on the primary (ikar) food and thereby does not need to make a bracha on the secondary (tafel) one. If both foods are primary, the food that is the majority is considered the ikar. Mezonos ingredients, however, are considered the ikar, even when they are the minority, unless the grain is only there for binding or color and not taste.
When one food is eaten only to service the other – e.g. cereal and milk (see issue 343) where one would not eat the milk without the cereal, or crackers only to serve as a spoon for chummus – the bracha is made on the primary one and not on the second one, even if it is hamotzi.
If, however, one has an interest in the milk or cracker – or one continues eating it by itself afterwards on its own right – then one makes a bracha on it. Thus, croutons or mandelach in a soup or salad don’t become nullified and retain their own bracha. Since the bracha on the croutons sometimes might cover the soup or salad, and one cannot recite a shehakol or ha’adama afterwards, one should make the bracha on the soup or salad first and then on the croutons.
What about an ice cream cone?
A regular cone is there just to hold the ice cream and people only eat it because of the ice cream. Thus, the shehakol on the ice cream covers the cone, even if one eats a little bit of it on its own.
Regarding a sugar cone poskim debate whether it has its own entity and requires its own bracha, or perhaps not, since one still wouldn’t eat the cone without the ice cream. The Alter Rebbe seems to side with the latter option. Thus, one should first make a mezonos on a piece of the cone and then recite a shehakol on the ice cream. The mezonos isn’t an unnecessary bracha since even if one may cover the cone with the shehakol, one is allowed – and it is praiseworthy – to make its specifically designated bracha of mezonos beforehand.
Ice cream sandwiches are either shehakol if one is only interested in the ice cream, or mezonos and then shehakol if one is interested in the cake as well.
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