Chicken wings are one of America’s favorite comfort foods, a weekend staple that’s as enjoyable on the couch in front of the TV as it is at a restaurant with friends. Wings are savory and packed with flavor, with many varieties that are making them must-have fare for a new generation of food enthusiasts. However, the most popular version is the Buffalo chicken wing, and Rochester, NY-based Colombini's Pizza & Deli shares the history of America’s most-loved morsel.
The Pride of Buffalo
Just over 50 years ago, this favorite game-day snack wasn’t as desirable as it is today. Wings now are one of the chicken’s most expensive parts, but they were usually throwaway scraps in the 1960s.
Buffalo wings were invented in — you guessed it — Buffalo, NY. They’re one of the city’s biggest claims to fame, and many tourists pass through just to visit Anchor Bar, where owner Teressa Bellissimo created them in 1964.
Although some facts of the story remain uncertain, rumor has it that Teressa’s husband, Frank, asked her to create an appetizer to avoid wasting chicken wings that had been delivered to the restaurant by accident in place of necks. While the necks were used in sauces, this wasn’t possible with wings. Rather than throwing them away, Teressa cooked up the Buffalo wings we know and love today.
Each chicken wing was cut in half, producing drumstick-shaped and flat pieces. Teressa fried them and covered them in hot sauce, then added what has become the traditional accompaniments: celery and blue cheese dressing. The chicken wings gained city-wide popularity within weeks.
Chicken wings soon became a national dining trend. In the 1970s, chains featuring them began to spring up across the country. First it was Wings N Curls™, then Hooters™ was founded in 1983, with chicken wings as the restaurant’s main feature. Pizza joints began adding them to their menus, and popular chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings continued to grow, transforming Buffalo’s favorite food into America’s favorite food.
For 35 years, Columbini’s Pizza & Deli has been the Rochester area’s favorite restaurant, serving gourmet pizzas, subs, and chicken wings. No matter what you’re in the mood for, this neighborhood pizzeria has something to satisfy every appetite. Visit them online to view their enticing menu, and call (585) 889-2213 to place a delivery order.