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    A visitor to a
    supermarket is struck
    by the vast array
    of chocolate items
    for sale, such as
    candies, chocolate
    cake, chocolate milk,
    chocolate cookies and
    the like. There is also
    a vast array of halachic
    issues which apply to
    chocolate. Is one allowed
    to drink hot chocolate before davening? What
    beracha is made on chocolate? Is a beracha
    achrona recited on hot cocoa? What beracha is
    made on chocolate covered products, such as
    chocolate covered raisins? How is a chocolate
    machine kashered? Does bishul akum apply to
    chocolate? These questions as well as others
    will be answered at length in this article.
    Background – Chocolate Manufacturing
    Chocolate is born in a cacao tree. The tree
    produces a fruit about the size of a small
    pineapple. Inside the fruit are the seeds known
    as cocoa beans. The beans are roasted to
    bring out the flavor, and are then winnowed
    to remove the meat of the bean from the shell.
    This is known as a nib. Cocoa beans are half
    fat. Therefore, the nibs turn into a liquid
    when ground, called chocolate liquor. If the
    chocolate liquor were allowed to cool and
    solidify, it would be unsweetened chocolate.
    Another option is to squeeze out the fat from
    the cocoa bean. The resulting dry bean can be
    ground into cocoa powder.
    Our chocolate products have added
    ingredients such as sugar, milk (see below),
    and other flavors. The chocolate goes into
    a conch, which is a machine that refines the
    chocolate and blends it into a smooth paste
    (see below regarding kashrus). Milk chocolate
    is a combination of chocolate liquor, milk,
    sugar and cocoa.
    Drinking Hot Chocolate Before Davening
    Since hot chocolate is a rich drink made with a
    lot of milk, it is questionable if it is permitted
    to drink prior to davening.
    Beracha on a Hot Drink
    One should make sure that he can drink
    the beverage before reciting the beracha.
    Therefore, one should allow his hot cocoa to
    cool before reciting a beracha.
    Chocolate During a Meal
    One who eats chocolate during a bread meal
    must recite a shehakol on it, as it is not covered
    by the beracha recited on bread.
    Beracha on Chocolate
    The halacha is that a food which is normally
    consumed only after being ground retains
    its original beracha. The Shulchan Aruch
    applies this to sweetened ground spices. Since
    spices are routinely powdered, the beracha is
    ha’etz. Accordingly, the beracha rishona on
    chocolate should be a ha’etz since it comes
    from the cocoa bean which is the fruit of a
    tree. However, the overwhelming custom is to
    recite a shehakol on chocolate since the bean
    is altered when it is processed into chocolate.

    Others explain that the chocolate in the bean
    is not eaten as is, and is mixed with other
    ingredients. Therefore, it is considered the
    miyut (minor ingredient) and the beracha is
    a shehakol. Another explanation is that when
    the bean is modified to the liquid state, it is
    a new entity which is not recognizable that it
    came from a bean at all. Therefore, its beracha
    would change to a shehakol. In any case, the
    custom is to recite a shehakol on chocolate.
    One who recited a ha’etz on chocolate was
    yotzei b’dieved and does not have to recite a
    Beracha Achrona
    There is a big discussion in the poskim
    regarding a beracha achrona on a hot drink
    (i.e. coffee, tea or hot cocoa), since one does
    not drink the liquid within the allotted shiur
    (kedi sh’tiyas reviis). Some say that since
    these beverages are intended to be consumed
    hot, a beracha achrona may be recited, as it
    is the derech to sip them slowly. However,
    the opinion of many poskim is that a beracha
    achrona is not recited. Others say that in order
    to go satisfy all opinions, one should let a
    reviis of the drink cool off at the end and recite
    a boreh nefoshos on that shiur. Some poskim
    suggest that one should put a sugar cube in
    his mouth so that the beracha achrona on the
    sugar will exempt the coffee, tea or hot cocoa.
    Sucking on Chocolate
    No beracha achrona is recited if one sucks
    on chocolate without biting it, since it is not
    the normal manner of eating. In addition,
    the amount of chocolate that would require a
    beracha achrona is not consumed within the
    shiur of kedei achilas pras.
    Chocolate Products
    Chocolate Covered Raisins – If one likes both
    the raisins and the chocolate, the opinion
    of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l is that two
    berachos are recited. First recite a shehakol on
    the chocolate, and then a ha’etz on the raisin.
    When reciting the shehakol, one should have
    in mind not to exempt the raisins with the
    Many say that a beracha is only recited on
    the majority ingredient, which is defined
    by personal preferences. If one likes both
    raisins and chocolate, and views the chocolate
    as enhancing the raisin, then the ha’etz on
    the raisin will exempt the chocolate from a
    beracha. If he views the raisin as an enhancer,
    then the shehakol on the chocolate will exempt
    the raisin from a beracha.
    The same discussion applies to chocolate
    covered fruits or other items.
    Chocolate Bar with Almonds – Almonds
    in a chocolate bar are the minority and an
    enhancing ingredient; therefore, the shehakol
    on the chocolate covers the almonds as well.
    Chocolate Covered Peels – A food which
    is normally not eaten alone and is covered
    in chocolate would only require a shehakol
    on the chocolate. One example is chocolate
    covered orange peels.
    Chocolate Milk – The beracha on chocolate

    milk is a shehakol.
    Many chocolate products made by Elite in
    Eretz Yisroel state the beracha on the package.
    Hilchos Shabbos – Coloring – Losh
    Most poskim say that just as there is no
    problem of coloring food (according to most
    poskim) on Shabbos, there is also no problem
    of coloring drinks. Others say that coloring
    drinks would be problematic.
    The poskim say there is no concern of coloring
    liquids when putting milk into black coffee,
    or with placing chocolate syrup into milk.
    (However, one must avoid any problems of
    Writing with Chocolate Syrup
    Some desserts are decorated with a chocolate
    swirl. The question is whether this is
    considered writing, which would be forbidden
    on Shabbos, or if it is a simple decoration.
    The opinion of Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita is
    that this is permitted.
    Breaking Chocolate with Letters on it
    It is very common for chocolate to have
    images or letters engraved in the chocolate
    itself. There is a big discussion in the poskim
    whether one may break food with letters
    written on top, or if it is considered “erasing”
    on Shabbos.
    The advice of the Mishnah Berurah is that if
    the letters are not part of the food itself, then
    one may not break the food; he may only place
    the food in his mouth, even though the letters
    or image will break. A food which has writing
    engraved in it may be broken on Shabbos. One
    is permitted to allow a young child to take a
    piece of food that contains letters even if he is
    going to break the letters.
    Kashrus of Chocolate – Kashering
    Besides dairy chocolate, many products are
    made with pareve chocolate. Therefore, a
    company would need to kasher the equipment
    if it wishes to make both dairy and pareve on
    the same machinery. Most of the production
    of chocolate does not require heat except
    the conch (see above). Chocolate companies
    are unwilling to introduce water to the
    chocolate machines, since it can potentially
    damage the product. An alternative may be
    to run chocolate through the system once and
    consider it kashered. However, this approach
    is a dispute among poskim.
    The Rama says that one should not kasher
    with any liquid other than water, but b’dieved
    one is allowed to use “other liquids” to
    kasher. A pressing situation has the status of
    b’dieved. Based on the above, some kashrus
    organizations permit a company to make dairy
    and pareve chocolate on the same equipment
    after a “kashering” of chocolate in between.
    Those who do kasher with chocolate do
    not have to wait twenty-four hours before
    The opinion of the OU is that since chocolate
    becomes solid at room temperature it may not
    be used for kashering. This applies even if
    one were to follow those opinions that permit
    kashering with other liquids. Therefore,
    their policy is to have two separate systems

    for pareve and dairy chocolate. Many other
    kashrus agencies follow this opinion.
    Chocolate Candies for Children after Meat
    A child three years and younger does not have
    to wait between eating meat and dairy. One
    may feed him dairy directly after meat if this is
    good for the child. However, the child’s mouth
    should be cleaned out well. A child over three
    years old should be trained according to his
    ability to wait additional time, increasing the
    time each year. A child 9-10 years old should
    wait the appropriate six hours. Harav Yisroel
    Belsky Shlita holds that the child should wait
    six hours when he starts going to school (This
    is approximately 6-7 years old).
    Some say that a child should not be given dairy
    chocolate candies until six hours have elapsed
    since he ate meat, since it is not something he
    really needs (i.e. supper).
    Bishul Akum
    Chocolate which is eaten as snack is not
    subject to the halachos of bishul akum since
    snacks are not fit to be served at a king’s table.
    In the event that one is eating a fancy chocolate
    served at a glamorous meal, then bishul akum
    may apply. However, since the heat from the
    conches (see above) is generated from the
    friction of the rollers, it is comparable to an
    alternative method of cooking which is not
    subject to bishul akum. Some say that since
    chocolate is a sweet and not eaten together
    with bread, it is not subject to bishul akum.
    Chocolate syrup is not subject to bishul akum
    since it is eaten as a tafel to other foods at a
    Milk Chocolate
    Milk chocolate is manufactured with
    powdered milk, as are various cakes and
    cookies. Powered milk is made by spraying
    milk into a spray dyer, which turns the milk
    into a powder. Many poskim are of the opinion
    that one who is makpid to avoid drinking
    chalav stam should not consume powered
    milk. Although some poskim are lenient, the
    overwhelming custom is to be stringent.
    Chocolate “Gelt”
    Chanukah chocolate gelt sometimes has the
    words “in G-d we trust” stamped on it. The
    question arises whether one is allowed to eat
    it, since he is erasing the name of Hashem
    (albeit in a different language). Some say that
    l’chatchilah one should not purchase such
    chocolates; however, if they were already
    purchased they can be eaten, for eating is
    not considered erasing since it is the normal
    manner to eat it. Others say that one can
    purchase it even l’chatchilah and rely on
    those poskim who maintain that it is permitted
    to erase the name of Hashem in a different
    language. This seems to be the custom of most