If you want to roast the best potato possible, don’t look to a cookbook to teach you. Try a hefty dose of math instead. As The Independent reports, hospitality students at the University of Essex’s Edge Hotel School recently worked with mathematicians to develop a formula to make the perfect pan of roasted potatoes.
First, they started off with the celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s recipe for roasted potatoes. Then, they tried to improve upon it by maximizing the amount of potato surface area they could achieve during the slicing process.
As they discovered after crunching the numbers, halving and quartering potatoes isn’t the best way to prep them for roasting. Instead, cutting them into pieces at a 30° angle (as you can see around the 0:34 mark in the video below) leads to the greatest surface area. Slicing the potato at that angle increases a spud’s surface area by 65 percent compared to quartering them, maximizing the exterior of the potato exposed in the oven. This means they get crispier than a traditionally sliced potato.
If the hospitality school’s taste tests with chefs and the public are any indication, the unusually cut potatoes are probably more delicious than whatever you’re currently making at home. If you want to maximize the rest of your time in the kitchen with other cooking tips based on math and science, you can learn how to slice the best cake, make the perfect grilled cheese, and more here.
[h/t The Independent]