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Let me ask you something, have you ever wondered why we fry?

Why, instead of using water (to boil), a little oil (to sauter) or nothing (to grill), we fill our pans with expensive oils and fats, to make a dish that is definitely not the healthiest one?

Why not choose to “enjoy” the extra calories, eating a dessert, an ice cream or even a larger amount of food?

Someone may say: because of the taste. I do not object, fried food is almost always tastier than boiled, but is it also tastier than the grilled or roasted one?

Does a grilled steak compare to a fried one?

Does anyone, actually, believe that fried vegetables are tastier than those made in a wood-fired oven?

Even the absolute hit of the pan, the French fries, are clearly less tasty than the well roasted potatoes.

What? You disagree?

Well, just leave some French fries and some roasted potatoes at room temperature for 15 minutes, after they have been cooked and try them both: The fries will have already become elastic and nasty, while the roasted will still be fine.

Sometimes, even the boiled preparations are superior to the corresponding fried ones. The average poached egg is not necessarily less tasty than the average fried one. The average, I repeat. Boiled shrimps are not worse in taste than the fried ones, especially if the oil has a strong taste.

So, my friend, why do we still fry food? one might ask.

— Well, there are two main reasons:

a) Time. The oil in the pan can reach high temperatures in a very short time, which will create the thermal environment, that will help our food to be prepared faster than it would be if it were cooked by means of water or air. However the main reason why we fry is

b) This FUCKING CRUNCHY texture.

Really, is there anyone that, at some point in his life, has not closed his eyes to enjoy this “crack” offered by fried food? ……………………….

(excerpt from the lemma Frying of the DG book)


Published in Techniques