Given my affinity for pancakes, waffles, cookies, and crackers, it’s suprising that I never knew the “mazones” blessing for grain products that are not bread.  The person who taught it to me recently said, “Mazon means ‘meal,’ like a grain product, and it also means food in general.”  It’s the same in English: we have our three meals, and meal also means ground-up grain.  I said the blessing with particular satisfaction that we do not eat “meal” at our meals. I do not like polenta or grits or even cream of wheat.

You’d say “mazones” in the old-fashioned Yiddish pronunciation and “mazonot” in the modern Hebrew pronunciation. For someone my age, I’m not sure which pronunciation would be more of an affectation.


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