It’s been two years since Americans discovered Australian café culture. You may remember the New York Times raving about it: Bizarre coffees with frothed milk, eateries with twee colonial names like Brunswick St, Little Collins and Two Hands and “satisfying egg dishes” served with a wink and a “no worries” — that means you’re welcome, they noted.
Now it seems another Aussie culinary speciality is taking the Big Apple by storm, a yellow-ish condiment so fancy, you can literally find it on the counter of every fish and chip shop in the country.
That’s right, in 2016, Americans have finally discovered chicken salt. For a country that prides itself on its fast food, they are surprisingly slow on the uptake.
“Already a sensation in Australia, chicken salt is the savoury umami magnet that belongs on everything,” one food writer at Epicurious expounds breathlessly.
Then there’s this. A New York deli, making and selling it’s own gourmet chicken salt for $6 a pop. That’s $6 American. That’s about $8 Australian. That’s about twice the price of a large container of Master Foods chicken salt, which retails at Woolies for $3.65.
The owners of Dudley’s Deli where this over the top abomination is sold, shared the secret to their salty success in a blog post on Lucky Peach, proclaiming it “good on everything” (yeah, duh).
“We make ours with roasted chicken skins: We roast them and render out most of the fat; we braise them in reduced chicken stock for about an hour, just ’til all that liquid is dissipated; and then we dehydrate the skins in the oven overnight,” they explain.
“When they’re completely dried out, we grind them and mix them with dehydrated-mushroom powder, sea salt, kosher salt, white pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.”
There is nothing real about real chicken salt. Most Australian chicken salts are vegan, for one. And many more a packed to the brim with delicious, mouth-watering MSG.
Suffice to say, Aussies haven’t taken too kindly to this sudden interest in our sodium-rich staple.
Whatever America, it’s not like we have a chip on our shoulders about this, we just really love our chicken salt.
If you’re not convinced, I give you a fiending Laurina on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.