Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
If you’re of a certain age, when you think of instant mashed potatoes, I’m sure it conjures up images of wide-mouthed metallic aliens, loudly debating what we humans do with our potatoes, our metal knives, and our mashers; generally having a good old extra-terrestrial chuckle at our expense. The ads worked, they were great fun, but I always found the product itself somewhat lacking. It was an odd consistency, pasty and with a unique not-quite potato-like taste – although when compared with some supermarket own-brand mash, it was the best of a feeble bunch. Because of this experience, I must admit I haven’t, knowingly, tried any instant mash products in many years.
Therefore when I was offered the chance to review a selection of products by Idahoan Foods, I was intrigued.
I’m pleased to say that after trying them, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The packets of mash really did taste much better than I remembered. The reason why it was superior is that Idahoan has developed a proprietary dehydration process. This process preserves the natural taste and texture of potatoes, and, I’d guess, that’s why the synthetic taste I’d always associated with re-hydrated mash was no longer there.
There are currently six flavours available:
Bacon & Cheese
Roasted Garlic (my favourite)
Buttery (my least favourite – I would rather have the Classic and add extra butter myself)
Butter & Herb
Making the potato couldn’t be easier. Simply add the contents of the packet to a bowl, pour on boiling water, wait for a minute and then fluff up with a fork.
Each 109g pack serves three (although this might be a little optimistic. There were only two of us eating, and even then, I didn’t find the portion size too large.
My only minor criticism is that the instructions say add 475ml of boiling water per packet; however, for me, that made the texture way too runny. I’d start with 400ml and add more if required (remember you can always add more liquid, but not easily take it away).
This instant mash is perfect as a general household store cupboard ingredient. It’s a product that obviously makes life easier for you. Not only this, it’s also highly adaptable; consider using it to top a shepherds pie or making quick and easy fish cakes.
If you like camping, caravanning or have recently joined the Motor Home revolution, I’d say this product is pretty much a must-have. It would be far easier and convenient to use Idahoan Perfect Mash than peeling, boiling and mashing potatoes (I’m starting to sound like those aliens again!) In addition, the packets are highly lightweight and more accessible to store than a bag of potatoes and large pots and pans (also, think of the amount of washing up you’ll save!).
Have a look at Idahoan Food’s website here.
They have a store location option, a small selection of recipes, and an ambitious potted history of their company (from six million years ago to date).
Rating: 4 out of 5 (and the one-star has only been removed because, for my personal taste, less water needs to be added)
RRP: Prices vary from £1.00 to £1.50 per packet
This product can be purchased from a selection of supermarkets such as