What is the difference between "mashed potatoes" and "smashed potatoes"?

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes and smashed potatoes are two popular potato dishes that many people may consider interchangeable, but there are actually some notable differences between the two. Both dishes are made from boiled potatoes that are mixed with other ingredients to create a creamy and flavorful side dish, but the techniques used to prepare each dish are distinct.

Mashed potatoes are made by boiling peeled potatoes until they are tender, then mashing them using a potato masher, electric mixer, or food processor. The potatoes are typically seasoned with butter, milk or cream, salt, and pepper, and can also be flavored with garlic, herbs, or cheese. Mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy in texture, and can be served as a side dish with various meals, or as a base for other recipes such as shepherd's pie.

Smashed potatoes, on the other hand, are made by boiling unpeeled potatoes until they are cooked, then lightly mashing them using a fork or potato masher. The potatoes are then tossed with melted butter or oil, salt, and pepper, and often seasoned with herbs or spices such as rosemary or paprika. Unlike mashed potatoes, smashed potatoes are chunkier in texture and have a rustic appearance that can add visual interest to a plate. Smashed potatoes are often served as a side dish with grilled or roasted meats or vegetables.

One key difference between mashed and smashed potatoes is the type of potato used. Mashed potatoes are typically made with starchy potatoes such as Russet or Yukon Gold, which have a higher starch content and tend to produce a creamier texture when mashed. Smashed potatoes, on the other hand, can be made with any variety of potato, but are often made with waxy potatoes such as Red or New Potatoes, which hold their shape better when boiled and mashed.

Another difference between the two dishes is the amount of liquid used. Mashed potatoes require a higher proportion of liquid, such as milk or cream, to achieve the desired creamy texture, whereas smashed potatoes only require a small amount of melted butter or oil to add flavor and moisture to the dish.

In summary, mashed potatoes and smashed potatoes are both delicious potato dishes that can be enjoyed as a side dish or as part of a main meal. The key differences between the two lie in the preparation techniques, the type of potato used, and the amount of liquid added. Whether you prefer creamy mashed potatoes or chunky smashed potatoes, both dishes are sure to be a hit at your next family dinner or holiday gathering.

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