The Reason You Should Be Adding Sour Cream To Mashed Potatoes
By Charley Rekstis
When making mashed potatoes, choosing the wrong type of potato can lead to a weird mouthfeel, undercooking the potatoes can result in a lumpy texture, and not salting the water can lead to under-seasoned, bland spuds. However, if you make any of these mistakes, adding a dollop or two of sour cream to your spuds can somewhat save your final product.
Adding sour cream to mashed potatoes not only creates that coveted silky texture, but its tangy flavor also helps cut some of the creaminess in the potatoes, butter, and other ingredients. Sour cream falls into the middle range of acidic ingredients, making it far less puckery than lemon juice but with enough zing to add a more vibrant flavor to regular mashed potatoes.
However, if you're worried that adding sour cream to your favorite mashed potato recipe could be overpowering, don't be. One commenter on Ina Garten's recipe for sour cream mashed potatoes said this secret ingredient offers the "perfect background tang to cut through the creamy richness," and another said it gave the dish "body" and a smoother texture.