REVIEW: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes

Eating mashed potatoes is a rare treat for me. I eat a lot of rice because I’m Asian and I’m afraid if I don’t eat enough of it my ancestors’ spirits, who were probably rice farmers in Japan, will come and take away my chopsticks and slanted eyes.

Of course, getting my RDA (Rice Daily Allowance) is easy here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because rice is by far the number one starch. It’s rare to have the option to consume mashed potatoes, even at Thanksgiving or on August 19th, which is National Potato Day. The only times I get to enjoy mashed potatoes are at nice steak restaurants, buffets or after I accidently step on my Wendy’s baked potato.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had mashed potatoes, so I was looking forward to trying the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes, which is made of up a bag of frozen cubes of potatoes that you steam in the microwave and then mash to your heart’s content in a bowl. This product not only allows me to nosh on the butchered and crushed relatives of Mr. Potato Head, it also provides the missing link that enables me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation.

I can be mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent, Ore-Ida-Steam-n’-Mash somewhat reliable, instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisical or accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

There isn’t a lot of physical labor with the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash, compared with making mashed potatoes from scratch, which involves washing, peeling, cutting, boiling and other actions that infomercial gadgets promise to do. I just heated the bag in the microwave oven for ten minutes, let it sit for two minutes to cool down, poured its contents into a bowl, added 2/3 cup milk and then mashed it like a cockroach.

Its taste was bland, despite the garlic. If it weren’t for the addition of several tablespoons of butter, I probably would’ve made my rice-growing ancestors smile by throwing it away or making naughty sculptures with it. Its texture wasn’t too fluffy and there were a few raw, uncooked potato chunks here and there, which were unpleasant to bite my teeth into, but that was probably because I mash things instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisically.

The Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes are convenient and can be more than decent if you add other ingredients to the mix. It’s not close to smashed spuds made from scratch, but it’s better than instant mashed potatoes and a Wendy’s baked potato I accidently stepped on.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 250 milligrams of potassium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 gram of protein, 2% Vitamin A, 0% Calcium, 15% Vitamin C and 2% Iron.)

Item: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes
Price: $4.50
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Convenient. Easy to make. Tastes better when butter is added. Better than instant mashed potatoes. Allows me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation. Being mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent.
Cons: Bland. Still had a few chunks of uncooked, raw potatoes. Not close to being as good as mashed potatoes made from scratch. My mashing abilities. Being accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

18 thoughts to “REVIEW: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes”

  1. @Chuck – As Abi mentioned in her review at Heat Eat Review, she thinks freezing did something bad to the potatoes. I have to agree with her. Freezing is good for popsicles, but probably bad for potatoes.

  2. I’ve never found a frozen vegetable that I wanted to be friends with. They always go from nice and firm to limp and in need of vegetable Viagra (not yet on the market, but I’m sure it’s in the testing stages now).

  3. My ex mother in law or as I like to call her The hagged out dried out bag could make a mean mashed potato from scratch boy I miss those potatos…but not her……..
    ummmmmmm clear throat flashback ended. Im sure the frozen potatoes are fine. That is all

  4. Hmmm It’s good to see that your rice growin’ ancestors hold you in favor! Still I belive that you and Abi are on to somthing, Freezing food, while a effective and cost cutting technique to preserving food, is terrible for overall quality and this would seem to be just another case. I didn’t know mashed potatoes would suffer so much, but I already knew that when you freeze most meats, the freezing process transmutes the flesh and makes it less than great…still I learned somthing new…. sighs, even though I don’t have japanese ancestors, I too have grown used to the magnificense of the I too live on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

  5. @Orchid64: A bag of frozen peas feel good on my knees after running.

    @Neil the hammer: Thank you for sharing. Too bad mashed potatoes brings those flashbacks to you.

    @yr momz: I am lazy then.

    @Woodenhand: Some times I go to Wendy’s just to enjoy a potato food that isn’t potato chips or french fries.

  6. My favorite was the powdered mashed potatoes. We used to call them flakey potatoes when I was a kid. I’m not sure why we ever bought them since we always seemed to have a large bag of potatoes in the house.

  7. Ha ha! I like govtdrone’s suggestion. SPAM makes any plain ‘ole starch GREAT. I wonder how SPAM Grits would taste?

    Costco sells a darned good instant mash potatoes product (don’t have the brand name on hand). They come in these small blue packets, packed in a master box. They somehow swell up into plenny’ o mash after adding the other ingredients to prepare it. ALMOST as good as fresh in taste and texture as far as I’m concerned, especially for the convenience.

  8. Steaming is one thing…but steam N mash is another! Who has time to both steam AND mash in this crazy world we live in. I work 12 hours a day at the beet farm and by the time I get home I want nothing more then a nice bowl of mashed potatoes. When will they ever perfect this audacious yet simplistic dish?

  9. I just buy the pre-made mashed potatoes that come in the plastic tub. I forgot who makes those, but they’re delicious.

  10. @govtdrone: Being from Hawaii, that would be too obvious. I made salmon instead, which would be the obvious choice if I lived in Alaska.

    @lex: Mmm…Powdered mashed potatoes with powdered eggs. All I need is powdered meat and it will be all good.

    @Pomai: I bought a pack of the shredded hash browns from Costco that come in pint-sized milk cartons. One of those equals a heaping mound of hash browns.

    @Felix Tibs: Do you work for the Schrutes?

    @Natalie: Mashed potatoes in a tub? That would go well in my fridge with my tub of pudding, tub of potato salad and tub of salsa.

    @Heidi: Unfortunately, it doesn’t. But if it did and you love this product, you’d end up with a lot of mashers that you’d have to donate to Goodwill, but at some point they will have way too many mashers and reject the masher you continue to send them.

  11. @govtdrone & Marvo: Oddly enough, I live in Alaska and ate a few bites of spam last night.

    And I think Country Crock (the butter people) make the mashed potatoes. Also Bob Evans but I’ve never tried them.

  12. I never peel my potatoes for the purpose of having them mashed. It may seem lazy, but I actually prefer to leave them on since they have more vitamins that way.

    Mash in a tub would be Country Crock, although I am sure there are probably generic ones now. I have never tried them, so I cannot vouch for how much better or worse they would be than this kind.

  13. I find that the frozen mashed potatoes are made edible by a generous tablespoon of Patak’s Chile Relish. Adds fat and heat and flavor in all the right ways.

  14. Boo, I have these in my freezer and now I’m no longer excited to try them. I wouldn’t have even bought them, but I thought they were like the Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes, which are quarter-sized [but obviously thicker] pellets that you just throw in a bowl with water or milk, microwave and they melt into mashed potatoes – no mashing needed and they are delicious[!!!!], try them if you get the chance. They’re also really cheap at under $2 a bag, which is many servings [for me at least].

    The Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes that come in a plastic microwavable dish in the refrigerator section are really good as well, but they are expensive.

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