There is nothing worse in the world than a plate of French fries gone cold. The soggy and flavourless mess is the least appetising thing in the world! But have you ever wondered how the perfectly golden, yummy, and crisp fries turn into the hard and bland sticks?
The Assistant Professor at the American University, Matt Hartings said that the texture change plays a vital role in making the French fries unappealing. Hartings explained that the change in texture is due to the underlying chemistry of the potatoes.
Potatoes are rich in starch which tastes good only when hydrated. The starches in potato are just like small spherical crystals. The high temperature in the fryer makes the potatoes ‘poofy’ by filling the crystals with water, just like a balloon does.
Hartings believes that the real appeal of the French fries comes from this poofiness of the potato.
So, What happens as the French Fries Go Cold?
The cold fries lose their poofy, fluffy structure because the water goes out of the crystals. The starch crystals turn more grainy and coarse as they return their more crystalline form. The water escaping the crystals goes into the crust of the French fries. Thus, as fries go cold, the crispy and golden crust becomes soggy and just uneatable!
The temperature also plays its role in enhancing the taste and smell of the food. Higher temperatures enhance flavours (think of your cup of morning coffee gone cold). The fresh, hot fries emit a deliciously salivating smell which is all but gone if they are allowed to get cold.
So, next time put off whatever you are doing till you finish those French fries first.