You say potato, I say potahto: The Mashed Potato Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Potatoes are native to which continent?
Europe
North America
Although many people associate potatoes with Europe, and they're definitely staples in countries such as Ireland and Poland, they're actually native to the Americas. Spuds weren't introduced to Europe until 1536.
Asia

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In which year did Ireland's tragic potato famine occur?
1845
The Great Irish Famine occurred in 1845 when a fungus, or blight, devastated the nation's crop. About one-third of the population perished.
1850
1865

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Which man is considered by some to be the creator of mashed potatoes?
Seamus O'Connor
Antoine Parmentier
A Frenchman named Antoine Parmentier is said to have created mashed potatoes in 1771 after engineering a competition on ways in which to prepare potatoes, in which he won first place.
John Smith

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What type of potato makes great mashed potatoes?
Russet
Yukon Gold
Both types make great mashed potatoes.
When making mashed potatoes, the best varieties to use are Russet, Yukon Gold or Red. These types yield the creamiest, smoothest mashed potatoes.

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Why are some potatoes ill-suited to mash?
too many carbohydrates
too litte starch
Starches begin to swell at about 150°F. So, the starchiest potatoes make the fluffiest mashed 'taters. Russet and Yukon Gold have a high starch content.
not enough sugar

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How many potatoes do I need, per person, to make the right amount of mashed potatoes?
1 potato
1 pound (.5 kilogram)
1/3- to1/2-pound
Generally speaking, 1/3- to 1/2-pound of raw potatoes will create one serving of mashed potatoes.

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When preparing mashed potatoes, what's the best way to cut the potatoes?
small chunks
medium-sized chunks
large chunks
It's best to cut the potatoes into large chunks. While they'll take a bit longer to cook than smaller pieces, they'll absorb less water, meaning you'll have fluffy (not watery) mashed potatoes.

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Is it O.K. to leave the skin on when making mashed potatoes, or is that considered low-brow?
Always peel all of your potatoes in their entirety.
Leave as much skin on as you'd like.
It's best to peel most of the potatoes, leaving just a little skin.
Mashed potatoes can be made with the skin on or off. If you enjoy the skin, though, cooks recommend removing most of it, leaving just a little for color and texture. Also, it's better to use thin-skinned red potatoes.

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After the potatoes are sufficiently boiled, you drain the water and then …
Mash them, then add the next few ingredients.
Add the next few ingredients, then mash.
Return the potatoes to the pot and put back over the heat.
Once the potatoes are boiled, return them to the pot and place them back on the heat for 1 to 2 minutes to remove any remaining moisture.

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Can you microwave the potatoes instead of boiling them?
yes
Yes. Microwaving the potatoes doesn't have any ill effects on the potatoes or their subsequent texture.
no
It depends on the type of potato used.

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Can you bake the potatoes, then mash?
yes
Yes. The benefit of baking before mashing is that you don't have to worry about water-logged potatoes. The downside is that potatoes take longer to bake than boil.
no
It depends on the type of potato used.

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What are the two main ingredients you add to potatoes to create mashed potatoes?
butter and milk or cream
Once the potatoes are boiled, you add butter and milk or cream to create fluffy mashed potatoes. Other ingredients can be added, such as chives or onion, but butter and milk or cream are essential.
butter and sour cream
milk/cream and sour cream

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Oh, no -- I'm lactose intolerant. Does that mean no more mashed potatoes for me?
So sorry, buddy, you're out of luck.
Eat them and see what happens.
Swap out the butter and milk/cream for non-dairy items.
You can replace the milk/cream with broth or stock, or even some of the cooking liquid. You can also try soy milk, rice milk and other milk replacements.

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What kitchen tool should you avoid when mashing potatoes?
a potato masher
a ricer
an electric mixer
Never mash potatoes with an electric mixer. Electric mixers smash the potatoes too much, ruining the texture.

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If you decide to use a potato masher, which type of masher is best?
a masher with an "S" design in the wire
Hand-held potato mashers with an "S" design are considered by many to be the best tool to use when mashing potatoes. Because there's a lot of space around the "S," you won't over-mash the potatoes. It's easy to over-mash with disc mashers, however.
a masher with a disc bottom filled with small holes
Any type of potato masher is fine.

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When was the "Mashed Potato" a popular dance move?
early 1960s
The Mashed Potato was a popular dance craze in the early 1960s.
mid-1960s
late 1960s

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Who sang the hit song "Mashed Potato Time"?
Chubby Checker
Dee Dee Sharp
The Mashed Potato dance was often performed to Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time," a 1962 hit.
Elvis Presley

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Another hit song from that era was "(Do the) Mashed Potatoes." Who sang it?
Chubby Checker
James Brown
James Brown was the main peformer of the 1960 hit song. However, due to contractual issues, his drummer at the time, Nat Kendricks, got credit for the recording.
Nat Kendricks

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Which is an advantage to using instant mashed potatoes?
They have a long shelf life.
They're easier to prepare.
Both of the above are advantages to using instant mashed potatoes.
While many people don't care for the flavor of instant mashed potatoes, and can easily tell the difference, they're less expensive than "real" potatoes, are easier to prepare and have a long shelf life.

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How can I prepare instant mashed potatoes so they taste better?
You can't do anything differently; they are what they are.
Swap out the milk for heavy whipping cream.
Swap out some of the milk and water for condensed and evaporated milk.
Some cooks say you can make instant potatoes taste like the real thing if you use twice-diluted sweetened condensed milk for the water and a combination of once-diluted evaporated milk and chicken broth for the milk.

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