You think you know all about mashed potatoes? Try my Flavor over Trend recipe: Heaven and Earth Mashed Potatoes. A classic German Peasant food that I find truly fascinating. Peasant food is all about cooking with ingredients that are inexpensive and require cooking skills that have been passed down from earlier generations. Mashed Potatoes has been the food of poor farmers and their workers for centuries. Out of necessity, since there usually was very little meat available, they relied on grains, fruits and legumes. A dish that is all about flavor and comfort, a simple meal from the Rheinland region that has been around since the 18th century.
There is nothing trendy about this meal, it is what I call a “Flavor over Trend” meal. The apple represents the heaven and the potatoes represent the earth, and not much has changed from the original recipe. In Germany “Himmel und Erde” is served with Blutwurst or blood sausage. Blutwurst is a great example of peasant food, a sausage made with pork blood and fillers like grains or bread.
I love the fact that in our days Chefs elevate peasant food to another level. Chefs are looking at opportunities and innovations and taking dishes that were once eaten and favored by poorer classes turning them into top notch food.
Food is all relative, it is how you look at things, how you were raised and what your parents could afford to put on the table for supper. I remember as kids having potato pancakes, an inexpensive food that we loved and preferred any given time over a prime piece of meat. We had applesauce with our pancakes; in fancy restaurants they may serve the pancakes with a confit of Duck, slow cooked using the leg and thigh turning a simple meal into a high end meal.
Every country in the world has Peasant dishes, and in several cases they are equally popular with the rich and the poor. Pot-au- Fue is a classic example, or Polenta a classic Italian Farmers meal that has been around forever.