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Aug 30, 2000 02:26 PM

garlic mashed potatoes

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Where did the idea of garlic mashed potatoes come from? Our local radio food critic (Tom Fitzmorris) claims from the Palace Cafe. But I thought NOLA opened before the Palace Cafe and Emeril has served them there since he opened. Emeril did work for the Brennan's though, so either way, he may have been responsible for them. But I never imagined the idea originated in New Orleans. Anyone know?

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  1. I think it was one of those accidents we should all be thankful for though !!!
    I am just glad someone past it along down the chain to my table.
    So to whomever is responsible....Lovin You Out There.

    1 Reply
    1. re: caseypons

      If you're making mashed potatoes at home, try another version besides the one with garlic. Just boil and mash an equal amount of turnips and combine the two well. Delicious!

    2. There is a thread in the home cooking board regarding Julia Child's 1964 recipe for garlic mashed potatoes, so I doubt that it was invented by Palace Cafe or Emeril, it may have been served by either in the area for the first time in a restaurant, but I doubt it was invented by them

      1 Reply
      1. re: roro1831

        Damn, Clinton was still president at this time, and Hillary was running for Senate. A lot's changed since then, but garlic mashed potatoes are thankfully still with us.

      2. Not sure of the origin (others have provided some possibilities), but I *seem* to recall having these at Charlie's Steakhouse, and that would have been in the very late '60s to early '70s. Being a fan of both garlic and mashed potatoes, I was in heaven.

        Did these come from Julia Child? I don't know.

        Wife was doing them, when we moved to Denver. She'd actually have her mom ship garlic to us, as other than a few restaurants, it was not commonly available at the Safeway & King Soopers. It hit, big-time, about 1985 with "garlic kiosks" in the supermarkets.

        By the time I moved from NOLA to Denver, there were several restaurants doing garlic-mashed, along with horseradish-mashed. This was in the very early '80s. By the early '90s, friends were serving them (both) at their "Polish Christmas" dinner. Now, they used horseradish from their garden, and it was up there with habenaros. They even packaged the horseradish as a "take home." Trust me, a "little dab'll do you." In my life, I have only ecountered one, more potent horseradish, and it was a commercial blend, that was meant to be added to mayo, before one attempted to eat it. Came in a gallon plastic jug. This should last the average family of 36 about 15 years!

        Who was first? I think he's on second...


        2 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          A very informative post, Bill. Garlic mashed potatoes have been around for a long time. The idea that Palace Cafe created the dish is ridiculous.

          1. re: Bill Hunt

            This is not in direct reply to Bill--I'll get to a point he made in a moment---but I cannot remember when garlic mashed potatoes were NOT around...perhaps not on a menu but I recall them in the early 1960's at people's homes. No one in my world in New Orleans and environs was afraid of garlic (but when I went to my other childhood locus in New England, a single clove was considered dangerous in a huge pot of, say, boeuf bourgignone). I ate the young cloves raw as a snack by the time I was about 11....this stood me in good stead in Russia in later years: the Russians like to watch foreigners faint at the thought). I always thought that garlic mashed potatoes on menus was one of those things like crawfish had been in homes for years before it went on menus. And the truth is that if you look at old cookbooks, you will see many "new" things that were known since Hector was a pup.

            As to horseradish....well, Bill is right, as ever. Slavic food loves horseradish and the Real Thing, pulled from the earth and ground up is as fiery as Hell would like to be. It'll melt the glass window in the kitchen. The problem with commercial horseradish--and the Zatarain's brand is the one we always swore by--is the it loses its "kick" after it is ground. The jar you buy might be a month old and it'll still have punch, but not like it used to have. The gallon jugs, which I buy at restaurant supply houses, is always a great deal--about $12/gallon--but you must get it from a place that turns the stock over quickly. In Louisiana ther are enough oyster places to ensure a supply of reasonably fresh stuff. We get a group together and buy a gallon, divide it up and then freeze small packages to be used as needed. The frozen stuff is not perfect, but it will keep its zing longer than the stuff in the jars