Something like 4/5 of frozen fries brands in the store essentially smell like synthetic piss to me when you start cooking them and it doesn't go away. They taste fine but the smell is just vile. This isn't just one or two bad experiences I've had but its been a trend as long as I can remember.

The other 1/5 brands don't smell bad, yet have the exact same ingredients - potato and some mixture of plant based oils, usually palm and/or rape seed. The price range seems to make no difference, I've found examples of either smelling or not smelling in both cheap and expensive brands. Uncooked frozen fries never smell bad, even if they have oil already included, this makes me think its something to do with the cooking process.

Does anyone have an idea as to why this is? And if there's anything I can do about it?

  • 8
    synthetic piss? ...can't say I'm familiar with that aroma.
    – moscafj
    Oct 22, 2019 at 21:38
  • 4
    Do other people have the same reaction to the same fries? The human sense of smell is very complex, with a "one receptor per molecule" working principle, and maybe you have a receptor for something that 99.99% of people can't smell.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 23, 2019 at 6:49
  • 2
    Have you tried buying fries from a different store? Or to check what type of potatoes are in the ones you like? I think I know what you're talking in the context of the aroma but I would rather called it yeasty/cheesy. For other people to help them "visualise" a smell of foot yeast infection that is masked with gas station toilet chemicals. Oct 23, 2019 at 9:39
  • Could the baking paper be responsible? I had a cheap brand once which started to smell. Almost all brands become smelly when you reuse them.
    – Philipp
    Oct 23, 2019 at 12:51
  • I think I know what you're talking about. I would define that as a cheesy smell, I think that's either the smell of the fats/oils used in the pre-frying or residue of vinegar or some other products used while preparing the fries.
    – zetaprime
    Oct 23, 2019 at 15:55


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