By Aharon Gabbay

Maran Harav Yosef Karo writes in Orach chaim 177: When one wants to have a bread meal,  the bracha of Hamotsi covers any food that is going to be accompanied with this meal.  The birkat hamazon that will be said after the meal encompasses all the  food that was eaten with the Bread in this meal. This includes the first course, second course, third course etc. and all drinks in the meal (except grape juice/wine) – but not dessert. Since dessert is considered separate from the meal, it is not covered by Hamotsi and so a new bracha would have to be said on any dessert that comes such as fruits, nuts, crisps and sweets (but not cake – we’ll get to cake!). However, a bracha does not have to be said after these desert foods since it will be covered by the proceeding birkat hamazon.

 

However, If the bread meal consists of a dessert  food along with other foods i.e. the dessert  food is part of the meal, e.g. chicken and a bowl of a fruit. Then we have a question. On one hand a bracha should be said on the dessert type food since it is a dessert food, but on the other hand, the dessert food is part of a meal and should not require a bracha. The solution suggested by Maran is (Which if this seems weird, please take it up with him!) to eat the first and last bite of the dessert type food together with a bit of bread and then no bracha is needed prior to the dessert type food.


And finally, if the bread meal only consists of bread and a dessert type food e.g. bread and crisps, only the first bite of the dessert type food should be consumed along with bread. Since it is clear that you the dessert type food is your meal then the last bite is not required to be eaten with bread, unlike in the previous case. Similarly in this case no bracha is needed prior to the dessert type food


shabbat shalom.