How to make crispy potatoes, every time

Crispiness is almost entirely due to the starch in potatoes, says Joseph Provost, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at the University of San Diego who co-wrote “The Science of Cooking: Understanding the Biology and Chemistry Behind Food and Cooking.” The two main molecules of that starch, a type of carbohydrate, are amylose and amylopectin, deposited in solid granules throughout the plant. When potatoes are heated, especially in the presence of water, those granules release the starch molecules, which absorb water and swell up (this is called gelation). The starches start cross-linking in a layer on the outside of the

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