The story of chicken wings, also called as Buffalo chicken wings, has the makings of a classic American biography, complete with the impoverished hero acquiring power, wealth and the love of his or her life. And as far as the reputation of this dish goes, it’s clearly a best seller, an American best seller.
So, it all started on October 30, 1964, when Teressa Bellissimo, the owner of a small restaurant in Buffalo, New York called Anchor Bar, to her shock received a crate full of chicken wings from her distributor. Until then these leftovers were considered scrap that was only thrown away or sometimes used to make soup.
That evening her son Dom Bellissimo invited a few of his friends over to the restaurant. Not having a clue of what to do with the waste, she quickly deep fried the naked wings, tossed it in a spicy red sauce, dressed them in a mixture of vinegar and butter, served them with sticks of celery and a rich blue cheese dressing. What came out was a dish that the United Stated instantly fell in love with.
Until last year, Anchor Bar sold 70,000 pounds of chicken wings (now fondly called Buffalo wings) every month. Another claim is that a man named John Young served chicken wings in a special “mambo sauce” at his Buffalo restaurant called John Young’s Wings ‘N Things in the mid-1960s. The only other difference between the two besides the taste was Young’s version was breaded.
Over the years, Buffalo wings have become a popular bar food and appetiser across the United States and Canada. Also, noteworthy to mention is the evolution of the sauces that go with the dish. Cayenne pepper, hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the basis of the sauce, which may be mild, medium, or hot. Several reports have also indicated that these sauces have taken influences from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines.
Today, restaurants around the world serve chicken wings. Many have also come up with different flavours for chicken wings, ranging from jerked wings to Oriental flavours. Even, the parts of the wing used also vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some cut off the wing tip and use just the drumette and double-bone pieces without separating them. Some separate the drumette from the double-bone. Some cook all three parts together. They may have their differences, but, all of them know that here is a dish that owns a star in the culinary walk of fame.