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 Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love???

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Foodbme

  • Total Posts: 9527
  • Joined: 9/1/2006
  • Location: Gilbert, AZ
Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 1:42 PM (permalink)
Many people think Instant Mashed Potatoes were invented in some Diabolical Lab somewhere.
Well cynics, they're actually made from Real Potatoes! Completely distorted-- but real!
Serious Eats recently did a Taste Test to find the best ones.
The best one according to them was Betty Crocker's Yukon Gold with a score of 6.1 out of 10.
I've always interpreted 61% as being a "D".
I've used Instant Potatoes as spackling, pavement repair and trying to patch the crack in the Liberty Bell.
Most of the panelists said that with some major supplements like butter, heavy cream, herbs, etc you could get by with some of them.
They're on the supermarket shelves. Someone must be buying them.
Do you use/like Instant Potatoes?
Here's the report:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/12/instant-mashed-potatoes-taste-test-whats-the-best-brand.html
 
#1
    brisketboy

    • Total Posts: 1055
    • Joined: 6/11/2007
    • Location: Austin, TX
    Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 1:59 PM (permalink)
    I personally have not used them but I know that I have been fed instant under the guise of real but have just been too polite to say anything. Lots of folks probably find them convenient or don't know how to peel the real ones. These are probably the same folks that think Chef Boy R Dee is real Italian.
     
    #2
      DawnT

      • Total Posts: 1286
      • Joined: 11/29/2005
      • Location: South FL
      Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 2:29 PM (permalink)
      Of the retail store brands, Idahoan seems to have the best taste and texture of the one's we've tried.  That said, the best one we've found is foodservice potato pearls made by Excel. You can buy a bag that makes a gallon and portion it out to quart sizes by weight in zip lock bags. No comparison to retail flakes. If you've eaten mashed potatoes in most any restaurant, you're most likely eating some brand of potato pearls rather then flakes.
       
      #3
        mar52

        • Total Posts: 7593
        • Joined: 4/17/2005
        • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
        Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 2:35 PM (permalink)
        They make a great coating for fried fish.
         
        You can also whip up a fast potato soup with them.
         
        You can even use them for gnochi but I like adding ricota to the mix.
         
        Used as a side dish?  What's so difficult about using real potatoes?
         
        #4
          jman

          • Total Posts: 1275
          • Joined: 12/25/2007
          • Location: berea, KY
          Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 2:41 PM (permalink)
          My daughter-in-law does a great job with making real mashed potatoes taste like instant mashed potatoes.  No, I didn't get that reversed.
          <message edited by jman on Mon, 12/12/11 3:49 PM>
           
          #5
            fishtaco

            • Total Posts: 740
            • Joined: 5/11/2010
            • Location: Roachdale, IN
            Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 3:33 PM (permalink)
            Of course real is better. But some some times at home, I'll just do the fake ones. Doctor them up they are ok. Also. I use them as a thinkener for soups and gravies.
             
            #6
              Rusty246

              • Total Posts: 2413
              • Joined: 7/15/2003
              • Location: Newberry, FL
              Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 3:50 PM (permalink)
              I like them for a quick snack for myself on a cold night but that's about it.
               
              #7
                rumaki

                • Total Posts: 967
                • Joined: 3/1/2008
                • Location: Minneapolis, MN
                Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 4:15 PM (permalink)
                Taste aside, my issue with instant mashed potatoes is that they are sulfited, and I'm sensitive to sulfites -- in sufficient amounts, it can cause an anaphylactic reaction for me.
                 
                http://www.fmi.org/media/bg/?fuseaction=sulfites
                 
                I'm sufficiently concerned about this that when I dine out, I will not have mashed potatoes unless I'm absolutely assured that they were made with fresh (unsulfited) potatoes.  Most of the time, I can't get that assurance, so I will opt for a baked potato -- or no potato at all.
                 
                 
                 
                #8
                  Michael Hoffman

                  • Total Posts: 17805
                  • Joined: 7/1/2000
                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                  Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 4:48 PM (permalink)
                  I'll stick with making mashed potatoes from potatoes that I've peeled.
                   
                  #9
                    lleechef

                    • Total Posts: 6212
                    • Joined: 3/22/2003
                    • Location: Gahanna, OH
                    Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 5:39 PM (permalink)
                    I have never made instant mashed and probably never will.
                     
                    #10
                      Russ Jackson

                      • Total Posts: 2257
                      • Joined: 11/28/2007
                      • Location: Xenia
                      Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 7:42 PM (permalink)
                      Horrible product. Mashed are so easy to make why bother. However like someone else said they are great for thickening soup. Seem to work good if over salt soup also...Russ
                       
                      #11
                        ChrisOC

                        • Total Posts: 901
                        • Joined: 7/9/2008
                        • Location: Ocean City, NJ
                        Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 7:49 PM (permalink)
                        Two things are not allowed in my house.
                        1.  Instant potatoes
                        2.  Instant rice
                         
                        #12
                          wheregreggeats.com

                          Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Mon, 12/12/11 11:16 PM (permalink)
                          Look at the ingredient list on those Idahoans. (150 words ???)
                          Then go to Trader Joe's and look at their version.  (2 words !!!)
                           
                          #13
                            kevincad

                            • Total Posts: 399
                            • Joined: 1/23/2008
                            • Location: Snellville, GA
                            Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 9:53 AM (permalink)
                            Foodbme


                            Many people think Instant Mashed Potatoes were invented in some Diabolical Lab somewhere.
                            Well cynics, they're actually made from Real Potatoes! Completely distorted-- but real!
                            Serious Eats recently did a Taste Test to find the best ones.
                            The best one according to them was Betty Crocker's Yukon Gold with a score of 6.1 out of 10.
                            I've always interpreted 61% as being a "D".
                            I've used Instant Potatoes as spackling, pavement repair and trying to patch the crack in the Liberty Bell.
                            Most of the panelists said that with some major supplements like butter, heavy cream, herbs, etc you could get by with some of them.
                            They're on the supermarket shelves. Someone must be buying them.
                            Do you use/like Instant Potatoes?
                            Here's the report:
                            http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/12/instant-mashed-potatoes-taste-test-whats-the-best-brand.html


                            I had just seen a recipe for making excellent potato pancakes from instant. I think it was on here.
                             
                            #14
                              MetroplexJim

                              • Total Posts: 3704
                              • Joined: 6/24/2007
                              • Location: McKinney, TX
                              Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 12:16 PM (permalink)
                              lleechef


                              I have never made instant mashed and probably never will.


                              Until I was 40 or so that was my view, too. 
                               
                              Then I found myself with a robo-hot GF (if she wanted to eat crackers in bed I would have made a 3 AM trip to 7-11 to get some cheese for those crackers) who used them as part of her limited cooking repetoire.
                               
                              Perhaps because they were associated with fabulous "desserts" I learned to love Betty Crocker's Butter & Herb instant potatos.  Two decades later I still use them to accompany two of my favorite minimal prep meals:  'Kraut 'n Kielbassa and (butcher prepped) baked stuffed pork chops & (pan-heated) Heinz Pork Gravy.  Both dishes take about five minutes to throw into the covered baking dish.  Five minutes before the oven timer dings I set about using Betty Crocker as my sous chef
                               
                              As Mrs. Metro "doesn't do pork" I would feel guilty about asking her do her excellent hand-mashed potatos.  Besides, the potatos in those two dishes are just media for sopping up gravy and juices.  And, I can make the insty-spuds, by a predetermined formula, as stiff as I like so they will "stand-up" when I slop them into a huge pasta-dish "trough" with the meat, liquids, etc.
                               
                              Either of these fine, tasty repasts are best consumed with copious Coors Light in front of a 60" Sony.  The optimal environment is achieved if the Steelers are playing and (as usual) winning!
                              <message edited by MetroplexJim on Tue, 12/13/11 12:20 PM>
                               
                              #15
                                Twinwillow

                                • Total Posts: 4895
                                • Joined: 4/15/2006
                                • Location: "Big D"
                                Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 1:22 PM (permalink)
                                Only real whole potatoes for me. My fave baked potato is one thats buttered and baked at high heat for an hour so the skin gets real crisp.
                                Then, loaded with butter or EVOO, grated sharp cheddar and raw onions.
                                Bacon bits too if I have them handy.
                                 
                                #16
                                  rebeltruce

                                  • Total Posts: 698
                                  • Joined: 9/8/2006
                                  • Location: Culpeper, VA
                                  Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 3:26 PM (permalink)
                                  Add enough butter and cream and instant are fine....I heard Julia say that once on a show with Jacques Pepin....I agree with her!
                                   
                                  Real are better, but instant are fine depending on the brand and how much butter and cream you are wiling tp embellish them with.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Foodbme

                                    • Total Posts: 9527
                                    • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                    Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 3:45 PM (permalink)
                                    Metroplex Jim,
                                    I admire a man who sticks to what he likes and has his Priorities straight, i.e.,
                                    Coors Light, (Iron City an acceptable substitute)
                                    60" TV with the Stillers on.
                                    PS - Any old pictures of the Smokin' Hot GF you can post or did Mrs. Metro make you burn them??? 
                                     
                                    #18
                                      tcrouzer

                                      • Total Posts: 430
                                      • Joined: 5/26/2003
                                      • Location: Burlington, NC
                                      Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 4:15 PM (permalink)
                                      I was given a pack of those potato pearls by a caterer friend (she makes real mashed potatoes) and I thought they were worse than the flakes. I keep some flakes on hand for feeding bread starters - only 1 TB at a time - but that is the only thing I use the instant for.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        MetroplexJim

                                        • Total Posts: 3704
                                        • Joined: 6/24/2007
                                        • Location: McKinney, TX
                                        Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Tue, 12/13/11 5:18 PM (permalink)
                                        Foodbme


                                        Metroplex Jim,
                                        I admire a man who sticks to what he likes and has his Priorities straight, i.e.,
                                        Coors Light, (Iron City an acceptable substitute)
                                        60" TV with the Stillers on.
                                        PS - Any old pictures of the Smokin' Hot GF you can post or did Mrs. Metro make you burn them??? 

                                        IC and IC Light are unavailable here in Dallas.
                                         
                                        Old GF closely resembled Ali McGraw but was "designed and assembled more elegantly".
                                         
                                        Mrs. Metro cleaned out all the old pics, but I didn't mind as she is, among other things, an excellent cook.  My students are always shocked when they meet her as she is younger than they expected and, according to them, looks like Nicole Scherzinger. 
                                         
                                        I had never heard of this "Nicole", so I looked her up and I agree.  That said, Mrs. Metro is far more refined.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          tkitna

                                          • Total Posts: 620
                                          • Joined: 6/10/2004
                                          • Location: wellsburg, WV
                                          Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Fri, 12/16/11 3:09 AM (permalink)
                                          I use them all the time because it seems like I have about 15 minutes to make dinner every other night. Kids like them well enough with the meal and then its off to basketball and band practice. I have no problems with them.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Jennifer_4

                                            • Total Posts: 1508
                                            • Joined: 9/19/2000
                                            • Location: Fresno, CA
                                            Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Fri, 12/16/11 8:17 AM (permalink)
                                            When I want my own personal bowl of mashed potatoes (doctored up with everything in the fridge you can imagine), I don't want to boil potatoes, so in that case I will reach for the instant...   however, in the last year or so, I've found small bags of whole potatoes (russet, red, or yukon gold) that you can stick in the microwave as is, for 8 minutes, and have perfectly cooked potatoes in less time with less mess.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              peterfaga

                                              • Total Posts: 2
                                              • Joined: 12/16/2011
                                              • Location: scituate, MA
                                              Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Fri, 12/16/11 11:05 AM (permalink)
                                              Try trader joes. I'm not a fan of instant till i tried this brand. They look like scallops add a little milk or light cream and butter. They look like paste but taste like mash. Not as good but better than the ones off the shelve. Real easy but might be hard to find in rural areas.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                MetroplexJim

                                                • Total Posts: 3704
                                                • Joined: 6/24/2007
                                                • Location: McKinney, TX
                                                Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sat, 12/17/11 9:04 AM (permalink)
                                                peterfaga


                                                Try trader joes. I'm not a fan of instant till i tried this brand. They look like scallops add a little milk or light cream and butter. They look like paste but taste like mash. Not as good but better than the ones off the shelve. Real easy but might be hard to find in rural areas.


                                                "Hard ro find".  Yeah.  No kidding.  I live down here in rural flyover country in a little town of 7,000,000 or so and the nearest TJ's is over 500 miles away in Kansas City.
                                                 
                                                Welcome to Roadfood.  Enjoy!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Foodbme

                                                  • Total Posts: 9527
                                                  • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                                  • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                  Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sat, 12/17/11 4:15 PM (permalink)
                                                  MetroplexJim,
                                                  Don't loose any sleep over it. Trader Joe's recieved one of the lowest scores on the Serious Eats Taste test.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Twinwillow

                                                    • Total Posts: 4895
                                                    • Joined: 4/15/2006
                                                    • Location: "Big D"
                                                    Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sat, 12/17/11 4:24 PM (permalink)
                                                    Trader Joe's is opening it's first store in Texas next year in Ft. Worth. The lease has already been signed. 
                                                    They're looking at two locations in Dallas as well.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      wheregreggeats.com

                                                      Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sat, 12/17/11 4:40 PM (permalink)
                                                      compared to whom ???
                                                      I am pretty sure I don't concur.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Foodbme

                                                        • Total Posts: 9527
                                                        • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                                        • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                        Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sat, 12/17/11 5:25 PM (permalink)
                                                        WGE.com
                                                        It you bothered to read the article you would know.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          David_NYC

                                                          • Total Posts: 2162
                                                          • Joined: 8/1/2004
                                                          • Location: New York, NY
                                                          Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sun, 12/18/11 6:46 AM (permalink)
                                                          For years, I had been buying BOXES of Idahoan REAL potatoes in grocery stores. (These are not the ones sold in pouches today.)
                                                          Today they can only be found in club packs and in cash-and-carry foodservice distributors. I have seen the Excel potatoes that DawnT mentioned in a cash-and-carry place and will give them a try. The foodservice ones are much better than the current supermarket varieties.
                                                          For club members, here is the Idahoan REAL product sheet:
                                                          http://www.idahoan.com/products/club/real-premium-mashed-potatoes-club-pack
                                                           
                                                          Taste the tangy goodness of all those chemicals. Actually, I do add butter and a little black pepper.
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            peterfaga

                                                            • Total Posts: 2
                                                            • Joined: 12/16/2011
                                                            • Location: scituate, MA
                                                            Re:Instant Mashed Potatoes---What's Not to Love??? Sun, 12/18/11 8:49 AM (permalink)
                                                            foodbeme. The test was done on boxed instant not frozen. I'm not advocating the frozen is better because i have not had the boxed trader Joe's.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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