The world is a temple and the food is divine—as long as you bless its Creator before you eat or drink.

Different foods get different blessings, but they all begin the same: "Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe…" All you have to remember is six simple sign-offs:

Before sinking your teeth into a luscious fruit of a tree, say: "…who creates the fruit of the tree." But for a vegetable or fruit of a plant (like a pineapple or banana), say: "…who creates the fruit of the earth."

If it was made with flour from wheat, barley, oat, spelt or rye – but it's not bread – say: "…who creates various kinds of foods."

"Wine gladdens man's heart…bread nourishes man's heart." So these two get their own special blessings"Wine," David sang in his Psalms, "gladdens man's heart…bread nourishes man's heart." So these two get their own special blessings. For wine (or grape juice): "…who creates the fruit of the vine." For bread: "…who brings forth bread from the earth."

For everything else you eat – e.g., dairy, meat, eggs – and beverages: "…by whose word all things came to be."

Now, a few important details:

  • One blessing covers all foods in the same category. Got a peach and a plum on your plate? The blessing on the peach covers the plum as well.
  • Bread and wine are "cuisine royalty." Once you've said the blessing over bread, all other foods and drinks (other than wine and most desserts) in that meal are covered. So, too, the wine blessing covers anything else you'll drink with it.
  • When eating a meal containing bread (or a satiating amount of baked grain-based foods), we do the hand-washing ritual before reciting the blessing.
  • Now you're asking, "What if it's a mix of all different sorts of food?" No worry, we've got it all laid out for you right here.
  • Click here for more on food blessings.