Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love???
When I was a kid, my mother occasionally made instant mashed potatoes, and I found them to be on the right side of edible. However, this changed when I tried Kentucky Fried Chicken "mashed potatoes", which tasted to me like the entire potato content consisted of the cook waving a potato at the mixture for several seconds. That put me off instant potatoes, probably for life. I will not order mashed potatoes in a restaurant unless somebody else orders them first, and I am satisfied that they are fresh.
Now, that all said, I will also state that I find, like a number of others here, that the dried potato flakes make an excellent INGREDIENT, used mainly as a thickener. I use it mainly in stews, because, frankly, I don't like fishing out all the pieces and putting a stick blender into the remainder, like I do with pot roast.