The Flavored Salt That Gives Chicken McNuggets Their Signature Taste

We can't deny there's something special about McDonald's McNuggets. Their delicate crunch, complemented by just the right amount of fast food grease. "A little bundle of crispy, golden joy," as described in Chelsea Fagan's Ode to McDonald's Chicken Nuggets (via Thought Catalog). Pure happiness, no matter your age.

But what's in those McNuggets that makes them so irresistible? According to the McDonald's website, there's some magical combination of chicken, vegetable oil, enriched flour, leavening, spices, lemon juice, and a whole lot of things we can't pronounce without tripping over our tongues and falling down five flights of stairs.

All that being said, you could throw those same ingredients together yourself and your homemade nuggets just wouldn't taste the same. Sure, it could come down to what McDonald's is hiding under the label "natural flavors," but we think it has more to do with the salt the chain uses for the McNuggets. Or magic. It could be magic.

McDonald's nuggets aren't McNuggets without this salt

If you've been down the spice aisle at your local grocery store, you've seen how many different kinds of salt there are. Sea salt. Himalayan pink salt. Kosher salt. So what kind of special salt does McDonald's use to give McNuggets their irresistible flavor and their signature crunch?

According to Eat This, Not That, McDonald's actually uses something called celery salt. Though the name may lead you to believe that celery salt has bits of that stringed green veggie in it, this is not the case. Instead, celery salt is simply salt mixed with pulverized celery seeds. This special seasoning gives McNuggets the taste and texture we've come to love.

Although the average customer may not be able to pin that celery flavor note down, it's certainly there. In fact, per a Los Angeles Times article, factory workers involved with the making of McNuggets routinely assess batches for "light pepper and celery notes" because the flavors are so important. And we never even knew!