Why Lidl's Instant Mashed Potatoes Are So Yellow

We get it: Busy days call for all the culinary shortcuts. Enter the ingenious packets of instant mashed potatoes, a dinner saver for working families across the United States and beyond. Potatoes have long been preserved by cultures around the world, with Incas slicing spuds and placing them outside to freeze overnight before drying the pieces and serving them as rations, according to "Empire of the Incas."

Although there is a long history of preserving potatoes, the first commercial instant mashed potato product wasn't created until 1952. RT French Company was eager to get this product on the market, but the "mashed potato granules" weren't available to the general public until 1955 (per Atlanta's Finest Dining). Since their inception, potato flakes and mashed potato mixes have been tucked into meals served at restaurants and at home.

Kitchn set out to sample a flurry of the instantly-made spuds, comparing the taste, texture, and preparation of several different brands. One product made by Lidl stood out, not only for flavor but for the color of the prepared mashed dish.

A brighter mash

Lidl asserts their instant mashed potatoes are made with real potatoes, insisting that no certified synthetic colors have been added, but Kitchn couldn't help but notice the color of this brand's mash appeared a bit more yellow than other instant mixes. The site attributes this color differentiator to turmeric. But even if Lidl doesn't touch up their instant potato mix with the colorful spice, flavoring potatoes with turmeric is definitely a trend worth trying. Plus, if you're serving up these potatoes around the fall season, the color can add to festive atmospheres.

30 Seconds Food agrees: Adding turmeric brightens both plates and palates, plus the extra ingredient packs some major health benefits, with disease and cancer-fighting compounds (per WebMD). Kitchen Treaty acknowledges their Golden Turmeric Mashed Potatoes recipe might be a "risky addition" to a meal, but the addition of turmeric, cumin, and garlic is a worthwhile endeavor.

Whether you use instant mixes or make mashed potatoes from scratch, consider brightening your next batch of garlic mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of turmeric and black pepper – and see if anyone notices the difference.