Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried
Chapter 50 : Rules Concerning the Berachos Said Before Enjoying Food, Drinks, and Fragrances
It is written, "The earth is Hashem's and the fullness thereof," [which implies] that everything is like consecrated matter. And just as it is forbidden to derive benefit from sacred things before they are redeemed, and anyone who derives benefit from sacred things without prior redemption is guilty of misusing sacred property, so it is forbidden to derive pleasure from this world without [first reciting] a berachah, and the berachah constitutes the redemption. If you enjoyed any food, etc. and [before you did] you failed to recite a berachah, it is as though you misused lung that is sacred to Hashem, blessed be His Name. There no minimum quantity of food over which the pre-berachah must be said, for if you eat or drink even the smallest quantity, you must recite the pre-berachah.
Although, if inadvertently, you had already recited [the berachah] shechakol over anything, even over bread or wine, you would have fulfilled your obligation, you may not do this deliberately. It is your duty to study in order to know which berachah [is appropriate] for each individual kind [of food]. However, if you are unable to determine under which category [the article] is classified, or if the authorities are in doubt and no [clear-cut] decision can be made [concerning the appropriate berachah], then you may discharge your obligation [by reciting] the berachah shehakol. But if it is something that you can exempt [from a berachah] [by eating it] during the meal, so much the better.
The article [over which you are about] to recite the berachah before eating, drinking, smelling it, or performing a mitzvah with it, should be taken, with your right hand, before [reciting] the berachah. You should then consider [carefully] what [berachah] is appropriate for it, so that when you mention Hashem's Name, which is the most important part of the berachah, you will know how to conclude it. If you did not hold (the object) at all, but it was merely lying in front of you when you recited the berachah, you fulfilled your obligation. However, if (the object) was not in front of you when you said the berachah, rather, it was brought to you afterwards, even though, while reciting the berachah your mind was on [the object], then you have not fulfilled your obligation, and you must repeat the berachah.
If you took in your hand a fruit to eat, and recited the berachah over it, and it fell out of your hand and was lost, or it became too spoiled, that it was inedible; and, similarly, if you said a berachah over a beverage and the beverage spilled, if [at that time] there was more of the same food or beverage on the table and you also intended to eat or drink more than you were holding in your hand; consequently berachah referred also to the other things [before you], then you need not repeat the berachah. But in an ordinary case, the berachah applies only to that which you were holding in your hand, and you must repeat the berachah. Similarly, even if you intended to eat or drink more [of the food that fell from your hand, or was lost or became unappetizing] but it was not on the table at the time you said the berachah, but was served [later], then you must repeat the berachah. [This holds true] even in the case where if you ate or drank the original food; you would not have had to recite the berachah over the food that was to be served [later]; because this case is different.
You must not pause longer than it would take to utter [a short greeting] between the berachah [over the food] and eating it. Even while chewing, you may not pause until you swallow it. (For chewing [or tasting] do not require a berachah, see par. 7.) Now, if after the berachah but before eating, you interrupted by saying something that was unrelated to the meal, then you must repeat the berachah. However, if you paused silently, then you need not repeat the berachah. Any delay which is necessary for the purpose of the meal is not considered an interruption. Therefore, if you wish to eat [a portion of) a large fruit [which you must] cut up into small pieces, then you should recite the berachah while the fruit is [still] whole, for it is considered an [enhancement of] a mitzvah to say a berachah over something that is whole; and the pause [caused by cutting up the fruit] is not considered an interruption, because [this cutting] is necessary in order to eat [the fruit]. On the other hand, if you wish to eat a fruit, [and this is the only one available], and you have none other, and there is reason to suspect that this fruit contains worms which would make it unfit to be eaten, then you must open it and examine it before reciting the berachah.
If you are about to drink water, and you [wish to] spill a little of it before drinking because you are afraid that the [surface] water [might be] tainted, then you should spill [the water] before you begin to recite the berachah and not after the berachah, as this would imply disrespect of the berachah.
If you taste food [in order to determine] whether it needs salt or for any similar purpose and then you spit it out, no blessing is required. But if you swallow it, there is a question whether a berachah should be said, because [after all] you did swallow it, or [possibly], you need not recite a blessing because you did not intend eating it. In view of this, be careful to bear in mind [when tasting something], to enjoy it as food and say the berachah over it, and swallow it.
If you eat or drink something for medicinal purposes, and it is tasteful and you enjoy it, you should recite the appropriate berachah before and after [taking it], even if it consists of forbidden food. Since under the present circumstances, the Torah permits it, you should say the berachah over it. However, if it has a bitter flavor and is distasteful to you, then do not say the berachah over it. If you drink a raw egg in order to make your voice clear, although you do not enjoy the taste, you do enjoy the nourishment it provides; and you should recite the berachah over it.
If a food particle became lodged in your throat, and you drink a beverage or eat a piece of bread [to help you] swallow [the particle], or [if you swallow] something else that you enjoy [in order to dislodge the particle], then you should say the berachah over it before [swallowing] and after. However, if you drink water, not because of thirst, but solely for the purpose of dislodging something that sticks in your throat, or for any other purpose, you should not recite the berachah, because a person only enjoys drinking water when he drinks in order [to quench] his thirst.
If, unwittingly, you took food into your mouth without having said the berachah, [observe the following rules:] if it is something that even when ejected would not become unappetizing, it should be ejected into your hand and a berachah should be said over it. The berachah should not be recited while [the food] is still in your mouth, for it is written: "Let my mouth be filled with Your praise." If it is something that would become unappetizing when ejected, since it is forbidden to waste food, it should be moved to one side of the mouth, and the berachah should be recited. However, in the case of a beverage which cannot be moved to one side [of the mouth] [in order to say the berachah]; if more of the beverage is available, it should be ejected and allowed to go to waste. If there is no other [beverage], and you urgently need the little that you have in your mouth, you should swallow it and then say the pre-berachah; (since you reminded yourself while [the food] was still in your mouth it may be considered, to a certain extent, [as though you had said the berachah] before partaking of the food,) but the after-berachah should not be recited. If [the beverage] was wine and you drank a reviis, the after-berachah should be also said.
If you have in front of you two kinds of food, both subject to the same berachah, for example, a nut and an apple, so that you can recite a berachah over one, and [thereby] exempt the other, you should do so. It is forbidden to say the berachah over one kind with the intention of not exempting the other in order to say a separate berachah over the other kind; since it is forbidden to cause the uttering of an unnecessary berachah. Rather, you should say the berachah over the food that is superior; (see Chapter 55) and the other kind is thereby exempt, even though you did not intend to exempt it. But if you said the berachah over the inferior kind, then the superior is not exempt unless you had the intention to exempt it; but if you said the berachah without clear-cut intention, then you must repeat the berachah over the superior kind, since it is not proper that a [berachah over] an inferior kind should exempt the superior kind, without intent.
If there are two kinds [of fruit], for example, a fruit of a tree and a fruit of the earth, or food over which the berachah Shehakol should be said; [then], in spite of the fact that post factum [when it is already done], if you had said Shehakol over all of them, or if you had said over a fruit of the tree the berachah Borei peri ha'adamah, you would have fulfilled your obligation; nevertheless, initially you must not do this, rather you should recite the appropriate berachah over each kind. The berachah Borei peri ha'eitz takes precedence [over the others] (see Ch. 55, par. 4). Even if there are wine and grapes in front of you, and you wish to drink wine, and said the berachah, Borei peri hagafen; even though it is permitted to exempt the grapes with this berachah nevertheless, initially you must not do so. Rather, keep in mind not to exempt the grapes [with the berachah over wine], so as to enable you to say the proper berachah, which is Borei peri ha'eitz, over the grapes.
If you change places, when eating any kind of food except bread (which is discussed in Ch. 42, par. 19, 20, 21) if you change places, even though your mind was not distracted [from the food], it is considered as though your mind was distracted [from the food]. Consequently, if you eat or drink in one room and then move to another room, in order to conclude your eating and drinking there, even if the food is of the same kind [with which you began the meal], or even if you hold in your hand the food or the beverage, and you carry it into the other room, nevertheless, you must repeat the preceding berachah there. However the after-berachah over what you have eaten before [in the first room] is not required, for the after-berachah [of the entire meal] will suffice for both.
Similarly, if you go outside [the house], and then return to your former place to finish the meal, you must repeat the pre-berachah. This rule applies only when you have eaten alone, or when you have eaten in the company of others and all of them left their places. But, if one of the company remained in his place, then when the others return to resume eating and drinking, they need not repeat the berachah since they intended to return to the companion who remained, and to finish their meal [with him]. Since one of the company remained there, the status of fixed place was not cancelled; and they all retain their original status, and it is all considered as one meal.
[When you go] from one corner of a room to another, no matter how large the room may be, it is not considered a change of place.
If you eat fruit in an orchard which is fenced in and you recite the berachah over the fruit of one tree with the intention of eating fruit of other trees also, you may eat from the other trees even if they are not within your view, for as long as your mind was not distracted you do not have to repeat the berachah. However, if the orchard is not fenced in, and certainly [if you go] from one orchard to another, [the fact that your mind was not distracted] is of no avail, [and you must repeat the berachah].