I’m going to spend the next few weeks getting my mashed potato game up. I know not everyone loves a good smashed tater, but they’re absolutely central to my Thanksgiving celebration. In order to make sure that this Celebration of Eating is absolutely as good as it can get, I’ve started planning my mashed potato strategy early. What? It’s good to have a plan of attack.
The first question that comes up when planning mashed potatoes is, “Which potato should I mash?” It’s important to choose something with nice potato flavor, and I’ve found that for me, the traditional russet potatoes just don’t cut it. Fingerling Russian Banana potatoes are awesome, but they’re wildly expensive and sold in such tiny bags that are not commensurate with my potato-eating goals. So when I make mashed potatoes, I put my money on Yukon gold.
The second question that comes up when planning mashed potatoes is, “Skins, y/n?” The potato choice debate can get pretty fierce, but it’s nothing compared to the skin-inclusion debate. Personally, I go back and forth on this one. Potato skins are dee-licious, and it seems like such a waste to throw them out. Also, the potato skin is seen as good for people and most other living things, and if I’m throwing starch in with delicious salts, fats, and flavorings, I will take all the “healthy” I can get.
On the other hand, the skin can sometimes disrupt the flow of the mashed potato: it can be quite jarring to take a bite of something supposedly creamy only to come in contact with something sort of chewy and fibrous. And it’s not like every dish needs to be “healthy.” Sometimes, it’s good just to leap face first into the pillowy abyss of seemingly endless mashed potatoes.
Adding salt, pepper, and butter/margarine is pretty important, but past that, the rest is really up to the masher. Garlic, rosemary, fresh ground pepper, it all sounds good and tastes better.
So, gentle readers, what do you do with your mashed potatoes? Which potatoes do you use? Do you leave the skins on, or take them off? What makes your mashed potatoes so good?