Which Beracha?

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
If you eat a meal of pasta or cereal, do you say birkat ha-mazon (full grace after meals) afterwards? How do you know if it’s benching (that is, birkat ha-mazon) or beracha me-‘eyn shalosh (the shorter, one-paragraph “condensed” blessing; see Artscroll siddur p. 200)?

Dear Baruch
Pasta, ravioli, spaghetti, porridge, many cereals, etc are mezonot before and me-‘eyn shalosh afterwards. A meal of pizza would be different as it is baked from dough, similar to bread. There are grounds to treat pizza similarly to bread, depending on how much you eat. There are a range of views, which require more elaboration than this forum will allow!
I hope this is helpful all the same.
Best wishes,
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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