mash, crush or squash


Canada - French
Hi !

What's the difference between mash, crush and squash ?
I'm asking this question in a cooking context.

Thank you !
  • mtmjr

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    When discussing cooking, I'm sure all would be interpreted to mean the same thing. There are other words (slightly more playful): moosh smoosh. There're all synonymous.


    Senior Member
    It seems to me that some words go with certain items better than others:

    "crushed ice" (not mashed or squashed)
    "crushed pineapple" (not mashed or squashed)
    "mash some potatoes" (we don't crush or squash them)

    I can't think of a regular expression in cooking with "squash", but it would be understood.

    To me, something that is mashed ends up with an even consistency throughout, for the most part. Something that is crushed ends up in smaller pieces but not a smooth or even consistency.


    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    There might be a weenie nuance here. I'd mash a potato, reducing it to a nice smooth creamy texture. But I'd crush a garlic clove, leaving it mainly intact but split open. I'd squash a tin can before I put it in the recycling, leaving it flattened out.


    Senior Member
    I agree with Winklepicker. The choice of verb depends on the form of the food before and after the action. All three of these verbs, plus the less "official" moosh, mush, smoosh, smush, squish, etc., are essentially onomatopoeic.