Product Review: McCain Smiles

I love potatoes, in just about every form.  I’m a vegetarian who loves accompanying my carnivorous husband to steak houses because I know I can get a giant, salt-encrusted baked potato, usually with a whole little buffet of things to put on it (cheese, sour cream, butter, scallions…).  The best wedding reception I ever went to had, I kid you not, a mashed potato bar.  So when a rep from McCain foods emailed me asking if I wanted to review McCain Smiles, I said “Absolutely!”  She said she’d send me some Smiles, and I assumed she meant some coupons to go buy some.  About a week later, when a big package arrived, I was shocked to find it packed with dry ice and a huge bag of frozen Smiles!

I’ve had Smiles before, and loved them.  It’s basically mashed potato with a crispy outside, in the shape of a smiley face.  What’s not to like?  And with only about 30% of the calories going towards fat, they fit nicely into the ratio that I try to stick to (10% protein, 30% fat, 60% carbs, more or less).  So I set up a taste test for my kids, pitting their current potato favorite, Mini Tater Tots, against Smiles.

I didn’t tell them it was a competition, I just told them I had something new for them to try.  Munchkin (4 years) is usually way more open to trying new foods, and Pasta Boy (7) is usually pretty reticent about trying new foods.  So in a complete reversal of what I expected, I had to coax Munchkin into trying them (she would only have a tiny taste) while Pasta Boy gobbled them up.

The real test was a few nights later when we were deciding on the dinner menu (they each get to pick it two nights a week).  It was Pasta Boy’s turn, and when I suggested either Tater Tots or Smiles for our carb (in other words, his main course), he chose Smiles.

As a bonus, I discovered that if you press one into ketchup, you get a red-eyed, red-lipped smile!

Originally posted on Selfish Mom


  1. Cara Robinson says

    They look kinda fancy but they are all really good and maybe becuase they put olive oil on them they get really crispy in the oven…the onion rings are fantastic!!

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