After the potatoes are cooked, they are mashed with a ricer, either a hand potato masher or with an electric beater. Mashed potatoes can have garlic, onions, herbs, spices, and or cheese added to give them a distinct flavor. They are then generally served as a side dish along with gravy, sauce or butter on top. Puréed potatoes are often made as a version of mashed potatoes. Several of the best potatoes to be mashed are the russet or the Idaho. Allow 1/2 pound of raw, whole potatoes per person when preparing mashed potatoes.