The Buffalo Wing. We take this delicious, spicy, mouthwateringly meaty snack for granted now, but believe it or not, there was a time when this bar staple couldn't be enjoyed during a football game every Sunday. These may seem like dark times for spicy food aficionados but, thankfully, it was not to last. The dawn of the Buffalo Wing came in 1964.
While there are some discrepancies to the exact origin of the Buffalo Wing, it's widely accepted (even by the Smithsonian) that the delicious dish was first cooked up in a little place called the Anchor Bar by Theressa Bellissimo. Now, here is where the discrepancies start-but what good story doesn't involve a bit of legend? As crazy as it sounds, chicken wings were once considered a throwaway part of the chicken, meant for stock. According to Theressa's husband, Frank, the bar was sent an excess of wings in one shipment and Theressa didn't know what to do with all of them-so she invented the Buffalo Wing.
However, the Bellissimos' son, Dominic, claimed he asked his mother to create a midnight snack to serve. He said his mother fried up the wings without breading them and served them with some celery from their antipasto and blue cheese salad dressing. Dominic said the snack became an instant hit and was being served in other establishments around the city within weeks.
All three members of the Bellissimo family have since passed on, so it's impossible to know which version of the story is true. However, the one thing that is certain is that Buffalo Wings are still fantastic 50 years later. Keep an eye out for the city of Buffalo's annual National Buffalo Wing Festival, a two-day spicy celebration in early fall. If you can't make it to Buffalo, celebrate at home-National Chicken Wing Day occurs every July 29th!
For you Buffalo Wing newbies out there, proper Buffalo Wings should be snapped in half so that they resemble tiny drumsticks. They're deep fried without any coating or breading and then slathered in their signature orange sauce, which is a combination of melted butter, hot sauce and red pepper. If you can't make it out to Buffalo to try the original and are interested in enjoying your own Anchor Bar Buffalo Wings (who wouldn't be?!), you can make them for yourself with this recipe.