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secret sauce

[see-krit saws]
noun
  1. a secret element, strategy, procedure, etc., that accounts for or increases the chances of success: The app's secret sauce is its simple interface.
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Origin of secret sauce

from a so-called sauce for hamburgers whose ingredients are a closely held secret
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018