Are You Cooking Fries or Is That Just the Ironing Board?

Are You Cooking Fries or Is That Just the Ironing Board?

Food & Drink

Are You Cooking Fries or Is That Just the Ironing Board?


By Cari Martens

What makes the aroma of french fries so intoxicating? The answer is more complex than you might think.

New research conducted in Great Britain (where fries are called ‘chips’) has discovered that there are as many as nine different aromas that combine to make the smell of fries so tantalizing.

According to a story reported by Richard Alleyne for, scientists at Leeds University found that you smell things like butterscotch, cocoa, onion, cheese, and even ironing boards when inhaling the aroma of freshly made fries.

The study was conducted during Britain’s National Chip Week 2009, led by Dr. Graham Clayton of the Department of food Science. The researchers used lab analysis and human focus groups to try to identify the fries with the most appealing aroma.

Other scents pinpointed were flowers and earthy potatoes (no big surprise there).

Further research found that the most desirable way to eat french fries is with salt, vinegar or tomato sauce (ketchup?), enjoyed along with fish.

We suspect that, in the USA, we would eliminate vinegar from the equation and substitute a juicy hamburger for the fish.

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