What is it about fast food french fries that makes them so darned addictive?  One chef may have stumbled up on the secret ingredient, and he's spilling the beans so we can all try this at home.  The magical concoction also causes us to lick our fingers between bites.  See, we can't help it!

It took this chef nearly two weeks to track it down, but he finally located the miracle "flour salt" that Whataburger uses to make its french fries so crispy and soft and satisfying and addictive all at the same time.  This hot salt doesn't dissolve, and it's part of what makes the french fries crunchy.  It sticks to our fingers too, which makes us lick them between bites and then go back for more.  A lot more.

David Pena is the chef at BrainDead Brewing Pub in Dallas, and the Dallas Observer recently highlighted his quest to track down the crispy, caking salt that Whataburger uses in its fries.  You know how we all get our minds set on finding something and we get that one-track tunnel vision until we reel it in?  That's what happened with Pena and the salt.  Must. Have. Salty flour.

The salt that the french fries roll around in at Whataburger and now BrainDead Brewing Pub, looks more like flour than salt.  It's described as having the consistency of a rice flour, with the ingredient "yellow prussiate of soda," which is an anti-caking agent that prevents the salt from clumping.  We didn't know we were such big fans of this golden prussiate until now.  It coats the fries and makes them salty and crispy from top to bottom, and not just in random spots like table salt does.

Pena had to go through four companies to get the salt and it took him two weeks, but he finally found it at Cargill.  So it's not widely available at our neighborhood East Texas grocery stores unfortunately.  But now he's cranking out fries that rival our beloved ones at Whataburger, and burger and fry lovers in Dallas are pretty happy about it.

Wanna make fries with the caked on salt at home?  Hmm.  It does sound like a lot of work tracking it down and everything.  But imagine how impressed our friends and family would be if we suddenly julienned a potato, coated the pieces in the miracle flour salt, and came up with some fries that taste like they're straight out of the drive-thru?  They'd be licking their fingers for sure.

So many details.  It sure does take a long time to make fast food, doesn't it?