The Difference Between Mashed Potatoes And Pomme Puree

Potatoes made in almost any way are delicious. Fried, baked, steamed, boiled ... It's hard to go wrong. They turn out wonderful when soft; They're delightful when fried to a crisp. While they're a great blank canvas for flavors and sauces, they can also be the vehicle for decadent ingredients like cheese and chili, or the worthy sidekick of most entrees. Ask any person what their favorite potato dish is, and you're bound to get many answers. But survey 100 people and it would be shocking if someone didn't say mashed. 

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish you'll find in steak houses and bistros, fried chicken restaurants, and on the table at Thanksgiving dinner. They're simple to make and have a wonderful flavor and texture. Mashed potatoes are a tradition, but what is the difference between mashed potatoes and pomme puree? While the phrase "pomme puree" does mean "mashed potatoes" in French, it turns out there's more to them than meets the eye — or the palate.

Fancy vs down to earth

Mashed potatoes and pomme puree are almost the same dish, but not quite. You could call them cousins, or variations on a theme. When it comes to the ingredients, mashed potatoes are generally made from boiled potatoes, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Pomme puree is comprised of similar ingredients, but the milk is swapped for cream, which gives pomme puree a richer flavor and texture. In addition to that, mashed potatoes can be mashed by hand, or with a mixer, and tend to be more chunky and rustic. Pomme puree, on the other hand, is traditionally made in a food processor, which produces a much smoother and fluffier texture.

While classic American mashed potatoes might start by cutting potatoes and boiling them, pomme puree starts with potatoes boiled whole so that they don't take on as much water. When the potatoes are pureed, they are less saturated and can therefore take on more of the butter and cream. This gives pomme puree a smoother and more silky texture. 

Next time you're considering making mashed potatoes, give pomme puree a try instead and you can decide which you like better. Bon appétit!