Popcorn, Potato Chips, Corn Chips and Pringles: What Bracha?


potato-chipsRabbi Pinchos Bodner, in his sefer on Brachos, writes (based on the Shulchan Aruch (202)) that in order to make a hoadama on a vegetable (same for ha’etz on fruit) the item being eaten must either have the¬†physical form or the appearance of the original vegetable. If the food item has neither the form nor appearance of the vegetable, a shehakol should be made. For this reason the Mishna Berurah writes (202:7) that the proper bracha on jam is shehakol, being that it has neither the form nor appearance of the original fruit.

Based on this halacha both popcorn and potato chips require a hoadama. In popcorn the kernels of corn are still intact and recognizable, and potato chips are clearly thinly sliced pieces of potato. However, corn chips which are made from milled corn, do not maintain the form of corn nor do they look like they come from corn. Therefore the proper bracha on corn chips is shehakol.

Pringles are a debateable issue. On the one hand it is made from dehydrated potatoes and do not retain the physical form of a potato and therefore should require a shehakol. However, R’ Bodner writes, that R’ Shlomo Zalman Aurbach paskened that since Pringles have the appearance of a potato after they are made from the dehydrated potatoes, a hoadama should be made.

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  1. He also writes that Rav Elyashiv Shlita argues, as do many contemporary Poskim, and maintain that even though they were re-shaped, they still remain SheHakol.

    You must write both opinions, not just the one that sounds sensational, as people will read and assume you write a unanimous opinion.

  2. It is misleading to say that Pringles are made from dehydrated potatoes. Although true the dehydrated potatoes are actually in the form of potato flour that are later shaped into a chip.

  3. Sorry to disappoint many, but Pringles do NOT look like potatoes AT ALL. The may look like potato CHIPS but not the original vegetable.
    As far as I understand the SA & MB, the re-formed potato flour must have the form or appearance of the original potato, not a product of the potato.

  4. Do you really think that pop corn looks like kernels of corn? It’s totally unlike any corn I’ve seen. It must be a shehakol!