Mashed Potato Lovers Tell Tasting Table How They Elevate The Dish - Exclusive Survey

Mashed potatoes are a popular side dish, often served alongside turkey on Thanksgiving, as an everyday side to steak dinners, or enjoyed on their own as comfort food. Mashed potatoes may have originated with the Incas, according to Kings River Life Magazine, though there is some debate over the matter. Some say they were not invented until 1771 when Antoine Parmentier created a competition to find different ways of making potatoes. Others argue that mashed potatoes and gravy had been served in England since the 1600s.

There are a variety of ways to make mashed potatoes, and everyone should feel free to adjust the recipe to fit their personal preferences. Some may prefer lumpy mashed potatoes for some contrast in texture, while others crave a totally smooth purée. When it comes to flavors, there are a number of additions you can mix in to make the perfect mash. 

Most people prefer a simple addition

In an exclusive survey, 601 respondents told Tasting Table how they prefer to upgrade their mashed potatoes. For the finishing method that received the most votes (37.6), people reported they simply add butter to their potatoes for extra creaminess. Lagging behind butter, at 20.97%, was sour cream. Adding sour cream to your mashed potatoes can add a little acidic flavor and velvety consistency to the potatoes.

Close behind sour cream is roasted garlic, with 19.3% of the vote. Adding garlic can provide a burst of flavor to what would otherwise be bland potatoes. Next is cream cheese, at 14.48%. Cream cheese is often listed as a substitute for sour cream in mashed potatoes, as they both add a creaminess, fold well into starch, and provide a subtle tang to each bite. The last two on the list, mayonnaise and chives, were close in votes, with 3.99% and 3.66%, respectively. The high-fat content of mayonnaise can make the mashed potatoes extra creamy, while the chives will add an onion-like flavor. 

We have our votes, but don't let that limit you; use two or more ingredients or go off list with these adventurous additions to your mashed taters.