Here's What You Need To Know About Chicken Salt

Vegemite on toast, meat pies, and jam-filled Lamingtons are just a few of Australia's preferred bites (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Another lesser-known item is chicken salt. This down under favorite isn't often seen stateside but there are plenty of reasons to start the search for this Aussie condiment.

For those who haven't had the pleasure of fresh from the fryer chips sprinkled with the spice blend, The Guardian describes chicken salt as seasoned, savory, and a tiny bit sweet. It emerged from a uniquely Australian class of restaurants known as the chicken shop and quickly spread to restaurants and home kitchens across the continent. According to local lore, chicken salt began as a seasoning for rotisserie chicken, and a chicken shop owner accidentally discovered that it was as a perfect way to up the flavor factor in hot chips.

While the seasoning mix came to be known all over Oz beginning in the 70s, the originator of chicken salt only came public in 2018. The man who is credited with the seasoning's creation is Peter Brinkworth. The Tumby Bay native was the proprietor of a family-run wholesale food company and neighborhood chicken shop (via The Guardian).

Australians can't get enough of the stuff

According to The Guardian, at first, chicken shops limited their seasoning to the none too thrilling combo of salt and pepper. In order to set his shop aside from the rest, Brinkworth blended a proprietary mix curry powder, chicken bouillon, paprika, celery salt, onion, garlic powder, and MSG, and chicken salt was born. The seasoning was a hit locally and Brinkworth eventually sold his rights to Aussie food firm, Mitani (via Wide Open Eats). Mitani tweaked the recipe and transformed Brinkworth's rotisserie blend into the iconic all-purpose seasoning that it is today.

Mitani eliminated the MSG and took out the chicken bouillon to appeal to vegan, gluten-free, and halal markets. Competing brands have formulated their salts to appeal to those with other dietary restrictions (via Food Network). Thrillist observes that Australians can't get enough of the stuff. Chicken salt is popular at restaurants like KFC, where one can only assume that it complements the chain's blend of eleven herbs and spices. It's not uncommon to see chicken salt on everything from popcorn and tater tots to dim sums and grilled meats. And while the folks at Eater are sure that chicken salt is due to make a splash in the States, for now, Americans can order it online.