386. Primary and Secondary Foods (Ikar and Tafeil)

53:6 If raisins contain so much moisture that one could squeeze it out, or if they were crushed and soaked in water in order to make a beverage, or if they were soaked in water for three days and fermented, the resulting beverage is considered like wine. The brachos on this drink are “borei pri hagafen” beforehand and “al hagefen” afterwards. Any time one needs say a bracha over wine, such a beverage may be used. The volume of raisins needs to be greater than one-sixth of the water, measuring their size from before they dry out. The resulting beverage is only considered like wine if the raisins were soaked in water; if they were cooked in water, it’s not like wine. If one soaked the raisins also with the intention of eating them, there are a number of doubts about what bracha to recite over the liquid.

If a person ate two things, or if he ate and drank, we consider one item to be the primary food (“ikar” in Hebrew) and the other to be secondary (“tafeil”) if his intention was only to eat the main item and he would not have eaten the secondary item without it. For example, if one ate salted fish or radishes with a little bread in order to cut the sharp taste, or if he took a shot and then ate a little bread or fruit to cleanse the palate, in such cases one would say the bracha on the primary food and not on the secondary food. (This is only the case if one did not desire also to eat bread. If he wanted bread also, it is not subordinate – Mishnah Brurah 212:3.) One would not wash hands for bread in this case, either. (Mishnah Brurah 158:10 advises washing without a bracha for bread greater than the size of an olive.)