I confess scalloped potatoes are my weakness around the holidays. The warm butter mixed with flour moistens the potatoes so that they melt in your mouth. Such a holiday treat I cannot pass up.
This actually ties into a project I did in graduate school with the Maillard Reaction. This is the reaction that is the basis of flavoring buttery flavored foods in the food industry. It occurs between a carbonyl and an amino group in a basic environment.