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The magic of Chick-fil-A Sauce

Restaurants around the world tout special sauces with secret recipes that are never written down, but instead passed along verbally so they cannot be stolen.

Not so with Chick-fil-A, which opens its first Buffalo-area location Thursday at 1753 Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga. The national chain is happy to inform fast-food eaters how to roughly replicate its uber-popular sauce.

Chick-fil-A's website explains the sauce originated from an employee's mistake in the early 1980s in Fredericksburg, Va. Barbecue sauce and a honey mustard recipe concocted by franchise operator Hugh Fleming were accidentally blended together, producing a tangy, rich condiment with another flavor and creaminess to appropriately blanket the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A tweeted an update to the recipe, mentioning the sauce actually combined barbecue, honey mustard and ranch, which explains the sauce's remarkably unhealthy nature - 140 calories, 13 grams of fat (only two saturated, though) in the one-ounce packet - and perhaps its popularity.

More than 500 million packets of the special sauce were ordered by Chick-fil-A locations in 2017. Broken down by the roughly 2,200 locations that means each restaurant used, on average, 230,000 packets last year - that's more than 600 packets per day, per location.

[Read: Andrew Galarneau's first experience at Chick-fil-A | Samantha Christmann tries the chain]

The sauces accompany orders of chicken sandwiches and chicken strips for free, and Chick-fil-A cashiers - at least in our experience at the Erie, Pa. location - are often gracious enough to dole out one or two extra packets for those hopelessly addicted.

Other sauces on the menu are Polynesian and barbecue, the second and third most-popular sauces, then zesty Buffalo, garlic-and-herb ranch and sriracha.

At most locations, Chick-fil-A Sauce is available in 8-ounce tubs for just over $2 (including tax), and may be purchased through sites such as Amazon and eBay for a higher cost.

[Read more: Great chicken sandwiches to try in Buffalo | Five things to know before you go to Chick-fil-A]

Just to prove the saucy craze isn't isolated to this easily pleased reporter, here are some local takes from social media.

*Read more: 5 things to know before Chick-fil-A opens.

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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