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Bishul Akum for Pringles

Are pringles a problem of bishul akum?


There is no problem of bishul akum in Pringles.

Potato chips are a snack, which is not consumed at meals. The Gemara teaches that only those foods which are served at a king’s table together with bread are prohibited (see Rambam, Laws of Forbidden Foods 17:15, who uses the same expression). The implication is that only foods served as part of a meal are prohibited.

The Rambam adds (17:18-19) that even parperes, which is usually understood as a dessert, is prohibited, such foods remain a part of the meal, but Rashi writes theparperes is classically food and drink (such as fish or wine) served as an introduction or conclusion to the meal, and this will not apply to snacks (such as potato chips) that have no connection whatsoever with a meal.

Thus, even if a king might sometimes eat a snack, this would not place the snack under the prohibition ofbishul akum, because the snack is not eaten as part of a meal.

In addition, the use of the expression “a king’s table” implies that only those foods conventionally served at an important meal are prohibited, and not foods that would be out of place at an important meal (the reasoning being that unimportant foods would not lead to invitations and closeness between Jews and non-Jews).

We thus find that the Peri Chadash (113:2) writes that foods that are served for dessert alone are permitted, a ruling confirmed by the Chasam Sofer (annotations to Shulchan Aruch, 113:1; see, however Beis Meir 111). The same would apply to potato chips and similar snacks.

Therefore, Pringles will not fall under the prohibition of bishul akum.

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  1. The issue with pringels is not if its Oleh al shilcuhn Malochim rather how its made. Pringels are not fried pieces potato and thus would be called a snack. Pringels are made from potato flakes. Potatoe flacks are made from dehydrated potatoes (or cooked potatoes). Thus the process in making pringels, is that the potatoes are first cooked, qualifying it to be Oleh al shulchan. Just because the cooked potatoes are processed afterwards to make pringels is not mivatel the initial oleo when it was cooked.

  2. If you look at R’ Yisrael Belsky’s teshuva on this matter, he concludes that refraining from eating pringles (not potato chips) due to a possible bishul akum problem falls under the category of “Tavo Alav Bracha.”

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