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Buffalo Wings History - The origins of Buffalo Chicken Wings

Buffalo wing origins in dispute

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A plate of buffalo wings with carrot and celery sticks and sauce
John E. Kelly/Photodisc/Getty Images
What buffalo has wings? Buffalo, New York! There was a time in the not-too-distant past when chicken wings were relegated as scraps worthy only of the stock or soup pot. Nowadays, hot Buffalo wings are all the rage as appetizers and party fare. This new fad brought about other flavorings for chicken wings, as well as different cooking methods. How did this current penchant for wings come about? Before trying the chicken wing recipes, take a look at how they came to be such a favorite.

Buffalo Wings History

Of course, our ancestors used all parts of the chicken. Usually the wings, back, and neck were used to flavor soups and stocks. Commercialization of the poultry market and modern refrigeration methods permitted consumers to begin choosing their favorite parts -- usually breast, thigh, and leg portions -- with the rest of the parts ending up in soup factories. Thus, chicken wings fell a bit out of favor until an enterprising restauranteur came up with a chicken wing recipe that would soon sweep the world off its feet.

There is some dispute about who came up with the original hot wing appetizer, but most credit the Anchor Bar in where else but Buffalo, New York, USA.

The historic creation date for Buffalo Wings was October 30, 1964, when owner Teressa Bellissimo was faced with feeding her son and his friends a late snack. Having an excess of chicken wings on hand, she fried up the wings, dipped them in a buttered spicy chile sauce, and served them with celery and blue cheese dressing as a dipping sauce to cut the heat. The wings were an instant hit.

The city of Buffalo has designated July 29 as "Chicken Wing Day," and today, the Anchor Bar serves up more than 70 thousand pounds of chicken per month! The Anchor Bar original recipe for hot sauce is now sold commercially.

The Wings 'n' Things Restaurant also claims a hot wing first, although their method was a bit different and used a spicy mambo sauce instead of a hot chile sauce.

Many restaurants across the United States soon jumped on the chicken wing bandwagon. In fact, it is difficult to find a restaurant (including many ethnic) that does not carry some version of chicken wings on the menu. Many have also come up with different flavors for chicken wings, ranging from jerked wings to Oriental flavors. So even if you can't handle the hot stuff, there are chicken wing recipes for you.

The parts of the wing used will also vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some will cut off the wing tip and use just the drummette and double-bone pieces without separating them. Some separate the drummette from the double-bone. Some cook all three parts together. I know some people who will eat the wing tip bone and all if it is fried up nice and crunchy. In the market, you can buy raw drummettes or a mixture of drummette and double-bone sections, so you can choose your favorite.

Share your opinion on your favorite style of wings and favorite parts below.

More about Buffalo Chicken Wings and Buffalo Wing Recipes:

Buffalo Chicken Wings Cooking Tips
Buffalo Wings History
Chicken Wings and Health
Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipes
Chicken Wings Recipe Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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Readers Respond: Drummettes or Flatties - What are your favorite chicken wing parts?

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