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13 July 2009 @ 01:39 pm
And another thing  
Why are so many restaurants now offering "smashed potatoes" rather than "mashed potatoes"? Is there a difference, or is it just a fad?
 
 
 
madshutterbug: Attitudemadshutterbug on July 13th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
< smart-*ss response > Dunno? Were they stepped on by an elephant? < / smart-*ss >

< serious > I think it's just a fad.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
*considers thwapping you with a trout*

I hope that the fad ends relatively soon -- at least the name; I have nothing against home-style mashed potatoes.
shanashana on July 13th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
I think smashed potatoes are supposed to have lumps in them.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
That does seem to be the consensus. And, hi -- welcome to my journal :-) .
Jettewolfette on July 13th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
"Smash" is a brand of instant mash - maybe they're coming clean about not using actual potatoes? :-)

Stephen Harrissweh on July 13th, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
I grew up with these adverts. There's a whole series of them. This is a good example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SAbJjktk7E
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Hee!
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
I'd put rather more weight behind that hypothesis if I were in the UK :-).
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 13th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Generally, smashed potatoes are prepared with the skins still on rather than peeling them, first. The main difference in preparation beyond that is that you tend to whip mashed potatoes to be somewhat more smooth while smashed are left a bit lumpier.

WiseGeek provides more detail:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-smashed-potatoes.htm
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Neat link -- thanks!
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on July 13th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
The name is supposed to look more informal, which suggests both that the restaurant is more casual and that the potatoes are prepared in the style of home cooking. (Or what used to be home cooking, back when a home cook mashed potatoes with a wooden spoon, and 6 other things to do while dinner was cooking. And the cook in a fancy restaurant would have helpers to get all the lumps out. My grandmothers both had electric mixers, and made smooth mashed potatoes.)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
My parents almost always made mashed potatoes from a box (Potato Buds was the preferred brand).
Ayoub™ayoub on July 13th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
I'd hope it's a fad...
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too. It was cute when it was just one place here and there, but seeing "smashed potatoes" as a side dish on a $25 steak is no longer cute, it's cutesy.
Curious Stuffonelargecat on July 13th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
It's interesting that you mention this, because I cannot even remember the last time I saw mashed potatoes (or smashed, or whatever) on a menu.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Huh. I see them all the time. I suspect we patronize different restaurants :-) .
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on July 13th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
Smashed potatoes have bits of skin and other kinds of lumps in them.

Mashed potatoes are creamy and smooth.

Whipped potatoes are like mashed potatoes, but even more so.

However, "smashed potatoes" can also be called "homestyle mashed potatoes" instead of sounding stupid and lame.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
I agree completely with your final sentence.
suzilemsuzilem on July 14th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
If they call them "Yummo Smashed Potatoes" you might wonder if Rachel Ray is a relative of the chef. :-)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
ptbt.
Bladerunnerbldrnrpdx on July 14th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
I had thought it was a regional variant that took hold. But the lumpier-with-the-skins-on vs. smooth-creamy-and-no-lumps difference makes sense too.
(For the record: I make them with skins on and with lumps at home. I've eaten instant, and I think them far inferior. Most of my family makes the creamy-no-lumps variety, and frankly, I miss the lumps.)
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
I grew up eating instant mashed potatoes and think they're just fine (all a matter of what you're used to, I guess?). I still appreciate made-from-actual-potatoes mashed potatoes, whether smooth or lumpy.
The Evil Twingrey_evil_twin on July 14th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
Wha!! I've been making smashed potatoes for years! I didn't know they were official. This is just our family's name for boiled quartered potatoes, some fresh garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper, in a bowl with a lid and shaken until they get soft and fluffy around the outside but still keep their shape.

They're very yummy.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 14th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
Dang, that sounds good.