Scott Paulson, “The Physics of the Perfect French Fry”

Science on Tap

We’ve been enjoying french fries for centuries, yet they continue to elude home chefs and gourmands alike. Can science explain the art of perfecting this everyday food? Scott Paulson, french fry-enthusiast and physics and astronomy professor at James Madison University, says yes. During this Science on Tap, Paulson will explore the science behind the seemingly simple act of deep-frying a potato, including important questions such as: What variety of potato works best? Does the type of oil matter? Is fresher better? He will also discuss high-heat vs. low-heat cooking techniques and the reluctant interaction of oil with water, in a quest to uncover the perfect french fry recipe.

About the speaker

Scott Paulson is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His research interests are in nanotechnology and biophysics, but he also likes to think (and talk) about the science of more common phenomena, such as cooking and baseball.

This event was presented by Wagner Free Institute of Science.

Science on Tap is a monthly science café in Philadelphia for anyone interested in getting together with other people to discuss a range of engaging science topics. It is held the second Monday of (most) every month.