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Mashed potatoes... I don't get it

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Reading all the Thanksgiving threads about what's being served and there seems to be a heap of comments about "Mashed potatoes, made from scratch" or "Real mashed potatoes" and it confuses me.  Is it the norm to use a packet of the powdered potato stuff? 

Speaking only for my family and friends (and I'm in Australia if it makes any difference) but I can't think of anyone who does mashed potato from a powder.  We just peel, chop and boil the potatoes and then mash with some butter, pepper and a bit more salt... or any variation like adding sour cream and chives, garlic, parmesan... whatever takes your fancy, really.  And yet it seems we're the anomaly?

Yes there are powdered mashed potatoes but I didn't realize so many used them.  I wouldn't ever consider using boxed ever and I don't know anyone who does.   Unless it is a cheap alternative.

No; you're not an anomaly.  My foodie friends don't use the powder, flakes, or buds.  I suspect those products are popular with people who live alone or only with one other person because it's easier to control the quantity of the end result.

One of my friends uses vacuum sealed mashed potatoes in sort of plastic pouch things and really likes them- she lives on her own and has arthritis so making them from scratch can be quite inconvenient for her.

I found them to be far too salty and stodgy for me, but then I make mine about 50/50 with swede because it is much lighter texture and has a better flavour IMO. Add pepper and chives to make it into the Scottish dish clapshot- a traditional accompaniment to haggis.

Two Ravens:
I'll be the weird one and say that I love powdered mashed potatoes and usually prefer them to the "made from scratch" kind. It is actually one of my favorite comfort foods. I usually also like to add a dash of balsamic vinegar to them as well. Yum, a big bowl of carby goodness.


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