Even though Thanksgiving is going to be different for many this year, because of changes stemming from the pandemic, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on some of the holiday’s classic dishes — especially the mashed potatoes.
According to Potatoes USA, a potato marketing and research organization, there are more than 200 varieties of potatoes that fit within seven categories: russet, red, white, yellow, blue/purple, fingerling and petite.
However, the group only recommends using either russet or yellow for mashed potatoes. What it ultimately comes down to, though, is what kind of mashed potatoes you want in the end.
Bon Appetit’s how-to website, Basically, tells readers that Yukon Gold potatoes are the top spud for mashed potatoes because of their texture and “inherent buttery flavor.”
“Yukon Gold potatoes have the densest and most uniform flesh of the potato varieties,” the website says. When cooked, they aren’t grainy, watery, or mushy, which all happen to be qualities that ruin mashed potatoes instantly.”
According to The Spruce Eats, many people use russets for their mashed potatoes, but those potatoes have a higher starch content and aren’t as flavorful.
The potatoes’ high starch content makes them absorb more water as they’re boiling and can leave mashed potatoes watery, too.
However, russet potatoes also make for light and fluffy mashed potatoes if they’re done right, according to Good Housekeeping.
If you prefer your mashed potatoes to be chunkier with some skin in the mix, The Spruce Eats recommends red potatoes. Though red and white potatoes are waxy and flavorful, it can be harder to mash them and they don’t absorb butter and cream as easily, the website said.