I have a confession to make Mr. Internet, sir: I, Jessica Block of Sporked.com, have never experienced a real-live mashed potato bar. Do I know what they are? Uh, yah. Do I wish I had one in front of me right now? Uhmmmm, absolutely. Do I want a mashed potato bar at my wedding even though I am currently single and not really taking any steps to change that fact? 100,000%. What I am trying to say is that even if I haven’t experienced the glory of mashed potato bars, I have thought about them quite a lot, and that should at least count for something. So, without further ado, here is a list of absolute bangers (none of which are sausage; sorry England!) to put on your mash.
- Pederson’s Natural Farms No Sugar Added Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon
If you have never had bacon on your potatoes, girl where have you BEEN? And if you’ve never had this specific bacon on your potatoes then, my friend, you are missing out. This bacon is, according to our terrific team of taste testers “more complex tasting than other bacon brands on the market. It packs so much rich, unique bacon flavor into every slice.” But don’t just take our word for it—go get yourself some of this bacon and treat all your potato-loving partygoers to a special smoky surprise.
- Horizon Organic Cultured Sour Cream
Sour cream and onion chips exist for a reason. The reason in question? Sour cream and potatoes just go together so well. Combine them and they achieve a creaminess and tang yet unmatched by other dairy and starch combos (pasta and milk could never). Plus this Horizon sour cream is just so dang creamy. Our tasters described it as “insanely creamy and thick. The tang is present, but not overpowering.” Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart called it “stunningly delicious.” Throw a little chive or scallion on there and you are makin’ mash magic, my guy.
- Kraft Mexican Style Four Cheese Blend
Much like Shrek and Donkey, Mike and Sully, and me and consuming entire jars of kalamata olives in one go, some things just go together. One such combo? Cheese and potatoes. But you knew that already; you’ve been a human on earth for some time now. What you might not have known? This Kraft Four Cheese Blend is the way to go. Gwynedd called this shredded cheese blend “damn creamy.” It comes in “incredibly fine shreds that melt beautifully (and instantly)” and has what Gwynedd called “a salty tang that settles on the sides of your tongue.” In other words, you need this beautiful, melty, tangy cheese on your mashed potato bar—what better way to treat your best spuds?
- Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packet
As evidenced by the resounding success that is the new(ish) Cool Ranch Lay’s potato chips that came about as part of the Lay’s Mashups series, ranch and potatoes should be assigned to more group projects together. We’ve all had chips or fries dipped in some form of ranch (whether by accident or on purpose) so why not just be up front about it and give people the option with Hidden Valley’s ranch powder? If I saw this on a mashed potato bar, I would probably pass out from overexposure to good ideas.
- Crushed Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos
Some people like things spicy. “Things” being mashed potatoes. And what better and more trendy way to make things spicy than to crush some hot Cheetos into a violently red powder and sprinkle that ish all over your pulverized potates? Trick question; there is not a better way. This would be fantastic and I am going to make this an option for my guests, if I ever get around to throwing a mashed potato party. (The playlist will be “Monster Mash” on loop for three hours. Yes, you are all invited; I know you were wondering.)
- Natural Plus Green Sichuan Chili Oil
Chili oil makes everything better. That is just a fact. And mashed potatoes are one such thing. They are already creamy, salty, and fluffy, add in rich, spicy, and umami and you’ve got yourself what we in the biz call a “flavorsplosion.” Plus, this specific chili oil is so deliciously numbing and savory that senior writer Jordan Myrick called it their “favorite thing [they’ve] ever tried while working at Sporked.” And do you know how many things Jordan has tried? I’ve made my point. Go get you this chili oil.