The Good: Not a bad value, Some nutritional value, Could be used against enemies effectively...
The Bad: Taste, No environmental benefit to this multipack, Bland
The Basics: A bland flavor of potatoes in pointless bulk makes this product a real loser. Not worth anyone's time, attention or money!
A few days ago, I tried my hand at reviewing something very different for me and as a result, I found myself trying and reviewing Idahoan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Having enjoyed that flavor, I decided to give a few others a whirl, starting with Butter & Herb.
This is a remarkably simple product and each packet tastes essentially the same, so purchasing one vs. the full 24 pack yields little difference in quality or taste. These are essentially instant mashed potatoes and this flavor is very simple and direct.
Idahoan Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes come in a four ounce plastic package with a simple tear open top. There are four servings per container and basically, these are instant mashed potatoes that may be made on either the stove top or in the microwave. The serving size is supposed to be only half a cup but just getting home from work, it's pretty easy to down a whole batch in one sitting!
The Butter & Herb flavored potatoes are surprisingly standard, embodying pretty much the most simple, flavored potatoes mashed potatoes one might imagine. Unfortunately, the Butter & Herb flavored mashed potatoes come out feeling and tasting much like any other instant potato product. Moreover, unlike some of the other flavors, this product begs for garnish; spices, gravy, a steak, something besides just the potatoes. Whereas some of the other flavors hold their own as a dish or meal by themselves, this pack of potatoes does not.
This is a simple bundle pack of twenty-four of the Butter & Herb potato packages. This is not an exceptional way to buy this product in bulk because it yields a lot of garbage (as opposed to if Idahoan had made a giant canister or something similar). There is no environmental benefit to purchasing this by the case in this fashion.
Ease Of Preparation
The Idahoan Butter & Herb Potatoes are ridiculously easy to make. I mean, if making tea is as easy as "pour boiling water over the tea bags," it's hard to see how these potatoes are much more of a culinary challenge.
On the stove top, the Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes truly are as easy as boiling water. Two cups of water need to be boiled and removed from the heat. Once the water is boiling, simply tear open the package, pour the potato buds into the water and stir. After a minute, the potatoes will be rehydrated and they need to simply be stirred again and they are ready to consume. And there you have it; instant potatoes. Depending on one's stove, the potatoes might take up to four minutes to prepare on the stove top.
In the microwave, the directions are almost as easy. Simple combine two cups cold water in a microwavable bowl, stir in the Idahoan instant potatoes and microwave on high for three to four minutes. When the microwave beeps, stir once and they are ready to eat!
Here's where the Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes utterly lose interest for a person who enjoys . . . well, taste. These potatoes, when mixed up properly, have a creamy, bland potato taste with little in the way of "herb" to flavor them. They are not very salty and there might be a faint hint of something resembling a chive, but the truth is, these are bland.
When the Butter & Herb potatoes are not busy being vaguely tasteless, they are buttery. Every few bites, the potatoes tasted remotely like margarine was melted into them. The thing is, after a packet of these, I waited a day, tried another packet and added margarine to them after they were done cooking. I swear, the potato flavor absorbed the margarine flavor and it did not appreciably change the taste of these taters. So, when they were flavored, there was only a vague sense of butter flavor to them. The rest was . . . well, bland.
I suppose they would not sell as "Butter & Bland" Mashed Potatoes.
The nice thing about the Idahoan Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes is that they are fairly nutritious, as they are made with real potatoes. One serving has 110 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. A serving has 5% of the daily recommended fat (3 grams), one gram of which is saturated fat. There is no cholesterol or vitamin A, but there is a bit of salt (17% of one's daily sodium), a couple grams of protein, and a little bit of carbohydrates (7% of the RDA). There is also a miniscule amount of Calcium and Iron, which makes one wonder why Idahoan did not have the product made with milk to beef up the nutrition some. It is remarkably easy with just the water, though, so it's hard to complain.
The nutritional information also notes that these potatoes contain milk and soy.
The instant mashed potatoes are intended as a side dish, but they seem like they would supply some decent energy for the outdoorsman who wants something light and delicious to eat while on hikes or camping trips. That being the potential case, I'd recommend that reader (and consumers) pack a different flavor than the Butter & Herb. These are too bland, even the outdoors couldn't spice them up!
After several minutes of looking, I have not managed to find an expiration date on my pouch of Butter & Herb mashed potatoes, save a time stamp of 07:10. Given that it's unlikely this product expires only at 7:10 and is fresh every other minute of the day, I'm left with the only other number that is stamped onto the bag, which is 80441LWF, which I doubt is an expiration date. I am assuming that if unopened these last indefinitely.
Once they are made, though, they should probably be eaten within a few days, if refrigerated. Truth be told, I've never made a batch and not finished it right off, even of the Butter & Herb (which I salvaged with much gravy!).
Cleanup is ridiculously easy as well; simply wash the bowl the potatoes were made in. I've noticed the Idahoan Butter & Herb Mashed Potatoes do not stick to the sides of the metal pot I use and any buds that remain on the plate or fork wash right off. Yes, these are almost as easy to clean up after as tea is.
Idahoan makes great potatoes, but this is not one of them. This is not a great flavor to stock up for, even for after the apocalypse (hey survivors deserve flavor!). The only people who need Butter & Herb potatoes like this are . . . I don't know, people who hate their in-laws and are trying to get rid of them quicker. Serve them a lot of these and maybe they'll leave.
For the rest of us, there are better flavors.
For other foods, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Jell-O Chocolate Fudge Pudding
Yancey's Fancy Smoked Gouda
For other food reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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