How to make the perfect fry

Wired has a great article about Nathan Myhrvold’s company Intellectual Ventures and its quest for ultimate knowledge about cooking. The result: a massive cookbook (6 volumes). You can find how to make the perfect fry:

Myhrvold cuts his potatoes into batons and rinses them to get rid of surface starch. Then he vacuum-seals them in a plastic bag, in one even layer, with water. He heats the bag to 212 degrees for 15 minutes, steaming the batons. Then he hits the bag with ultrasound to cavitate the water—45 minutes on each side. He reheats the bag in an oven to 212 degrees for five minutes, puts the hot fries on a rack in a vacuum chamber, and then blanches them in 338-degree oil for three minutes. When they’re cool, Myhrvold deep-fries the potatoes in oil at 375 degrees until they’re crisp, about three more minutes, and then drains them on paper towels. Total preparation time: two hours.

The result is amazing. The outside nearly shatters when you bite into it, yielding to a creamy center that’s perfectly smooth. The key is the cavitation caused by the ultrasonic bath—it creates thousands of tiny fissures on the potato’s surface, all of which become crunchy when it’s fried. When Plato saw the shadow of a french fry on the wall of his cave, the guy standing behind him was snacking on these.

The article is definitely worth reading. Intellectual Ventures does not only do cooking extraordinaire, but tries to find solutions for world problems. Amazing company.