Question: What is the tastiest cooking oil for pan-fried French fries?
Answer: I think in general when frying foods you don't want the oil to add a whole lot of its own favor. You are more looking for something that will render the food crispy and even more flavorful itself without a greasy or heavy effect.
So you may be surprised to find out that some of the very best pan fried potatoes aren't made with oil at all, but . . .
That's right duck fat. Maybe you have the idea that duck fat is going to have a lot of meat flavor or something, but it really doesn't. In fact one of France's favorite potato dishes, pomme de terre sarladaise is just potatoes fried in duck fat (or lots of times goose fat, but lets not complicate things).
These days it's pretty easy to find duck fat even outside of France. And you can buy rendered duck fat in large enough quantities so that pan frying is definitely a possibility.
When cold, duck fat is creamy in texture and nearly white in color. It melts instantly with a little heat and can be warmed fairly high without smoking. Potatoes cooked in duck fat are truly delicious. I love to eat them with a large green salad and nothing else.
One final note on duck fat and pan fried potatoes. Duck fat is recognized by nutritionists as being a healthier alternative to butter. It doesn't beat olive oil, but heck, you can't fry potatoes in olive oil!