Wings

Chickens always have had wings, and it is reasonable to assume that since humans discovered that chickens taste good, their wings were on the menu. But the chicken wing as we know it was invented in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo. Mrs. Bellissimo, who ran Buffalo’s Anchor Bar with her husband Frank, cut wings in half, creating drumettes and bows, deep fried them and served them bathed in buttery hot sauce along with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks to offset the sauce’s heat. Exactly what inspired Mrs. Bellissimo to first create wings is a subject snack-food historians have tossed around for decades. Did she have no other chicken parts on hand to feed her son’s hungry friends? Was it a Friday treat for Catholic customers who wouldn’t eat red meat? Was it simply thrift – a way to make use of chicken pieces destined for the stock pot or garbage can? Or is it possible that an entirely different Buffalonian named John Young invented them in the mid-1960s and the Bellissimos somehow got credit? Once unique to Buffalo, New York, wings are now known everywhere; and the term “Buffalo” is applied to countless different chicken dishes (and even non-chicken dishes) that are flavored in a similar spicy-creamy way. The original formula for Buffalo chicken wings has inspired customization of every kind. Wings are available painted with varying degrees of hot sauce, glazed with bourbon or maple syrup or BBQ sauce, rubbed with Cajun spice or Caribbean jerk seasonings, dipped in Thai peanut sauce, and sticky with caramel.

Restaurants With This Dish

Mammoser’s Tavern

HAMBURG, NY

Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats

PORT ALLEN, LA

Elmo’s | Wings at their Best in a Buffalo Sports Bar

GETZVILLE, NY

Barnacle Bill’s

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL

Sundance Cafe & Lodge

NEDERLAND, CO

Stanziato’s

DANBURY, CT

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