Chicken Salt: Australia's Favorite Fry Topper

Some people like ketchup on their fries. Others prefer mayo. In Australia, people take their fries with chicken salt.
January 22, 2017
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Photo by: ClaudioVentrella

ClaudioVentrella

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Some people like ketchup on their fries. Others prefer mayo or vinegar and salt. There are those who favor gravy and cheese curds. (Oh, Canada.) In Australia, people take their fries with chicken salt.

Chicken salt? There’s often no actual chicken in it. (Though — take note, vegetarians — sometimes it does.) It’s a seasoning originally made for rotisserie chicken — by an Adelaide-based spice company, Mitani, in the 1970s, according to Mashable — that became a hit on fries as well as potato chips in the land down under.

By the 1990s, Mitani was retailing its chicken salt to consumers. Today, it exports it as well, sells an estimated 70 metric tons of it annually and competes against rival “chicken salt” makers to boot. (People love it on popcorn.)

So what is it? Recipes vary, but the umami seasoning often contains salt (for starters), turmeric, onion powder and garlic powder. Many companies use a vegan blend.

“Despite the name … it contains no chicken ingredients but rather tastes like chicken, making it absolutely safe for Vegans,” JADA Spices notes on its Chicken Salt website, adding that it is also free of gluten and manufactured food additives (no MSG, no anti-caking agents) and paleo-diet compatible.

Curious? Several brands of chicken salt are available online (JADA, Saxa, the aforementioned Mitani “classic” chicken salt, among others). Some are kosher. Some are not.

And if you’re looking for something to try it on, Valerie Bertinelli has your back with this recipe for Homemade Potato Chips with Chicken Salt. Hey, it’s worth a fry!

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