Julia Child's Mashed Potatoes Are Made With An Absurd Amount Of Garlic

If there's one thing foodies around the world can probably agree on, it's that potatoes are a pretty perfect food. Julia Child herself understood this: The American chef famously championed French culinary stylings across the U.S. gastronomical scene, and both countries know how to put away potatoes. According to Farmer's Almanac, the average U.S. consumer downs 120 pounds of potatoes every single year — and France is close behind with about 110 pounds of potatoes per person each year, reports Sweetish Hill

Foodies can't get enough of the "pomme de terre," and there's one elite way Julia Child liked to enjoy hers: In the form of garlic mashed potatoes.

Chef Anthony Bourdain (who, incidentally, was born of French descent himself) once famously praised, "Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime... Please treat your garlic with respect." By this sentiment, Child's mashed potatoes recipe is a fitting celebration of the physically small, yet elephantine beauty that is garlic. As Child herself put it, "A cookbook is only as good as its poorest recipe," and the chef's mashed potatoes are about as rich a recipe as they come — rich in garlic, that is.

Thirty cloves (and not a hair less)

The recipe comes from Julia Child's 1961 cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1," via Saveur. In Child's mashed potatoes, a whopping 30 cloves of garlic are blanched whole, with the skins still on. The garlic is then peeled and emulsified into a béchamel sauce, which gets incorporated into the mashed potatoes. For maximum smoothness, Child recommends passing those boiled potatoes through a ricer. Then, after ricing, says Child, transfer those potatoes back into the pot and stir in your garlic-loaded béchamel, along with white pepper and fresh parsley.

If 30 cloves of garlic sound a little daunting to your palette, rest assured. The chef knew her stuff — and a recipe tester from Insider testified, "The garlic was there, but it wasn't overpowering at all." Per the outlet, the béchamel created an extra-creamy texture and the garlic was (unsurprisingly) highly aromatic. The recipe is emblematic of the elevated-basics cooking method that Child swore by. 

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces," she said, via Southern Living, "just good food from fresh ingredients."