Starchy carbs are greatly appreciated when backpacking because you’re expending a ton of calories and most freeze-dried foods simply aren’t filling enough. One of the easiest starchy carbs to carry are dehydrated potatoes, “mashed potatoes”. Here I explore a couple of things.
The first thing I tried was that old standby, potato flakes, with something called “butter buds”. Result: Bleh. The potato flakes do *not* have the right consistency when rehydrated, and the “Butter Buds” do taste sort of buttery, but aren’t capable of converting blah potatoes into something more than barely edible. Score: D- (barely edible).
The next stop was the “premium” dehydrated mashers in the foil pouches. The first of these is Idahoan “Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes”, which has the subtitle “Made with 100% REAL Idaho Potatoes, Perfectly Blended with Cheddar, Bleu, Romano, & Parmesan Cheeses”. As vs. mashed potatoes made with artificial Idaho potatoes, I suppose (heh!). This called for putting 2 cups of boiling water into a bowl, then stirring the mashers into it.
So while the water was boiling in my electric teakettle, I opened the pouch. What was inside wasn’t the flakes that I expected. It was a fine powder, well mixed. So I stirred it into my water and hmm, the texture was pretty smooth. Not bad. Not like real mashed potatoes, the kind you make by baking potatoes then mashing them with a potato masher, but that’s impractical on a camping trip.
Then came the taste test: Is it edible? The result: a firm B. As in, “quite acceptable and above average.” It ain’t as good as the real thing, but what the hell is? In any event, perfectly okay for a camping trip. For what that’s worth.
– Badtux the Culinary Penguin