Buffalo wings are a quintessential American food. They’re delicious, coming in an ever-increasing variety of hotness levels and flavors profiles, and go hand in hand with sports events and friendly gathering. They also have an interesting (and in some cases, conflicting) history behind them. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of the history of this dish, including plenty of facts you can share with others the next time you order a platter.
Your Guide to Buffalo Wings
There are varying stories behind the birth of buffalo wings, but most occur in the middle of the last century. One claims that Teressa Bellissimo, a bar owner in Buffalo, NY, created them in 1964 when her son and friends arrived home from college. Chicken wings were inexpensive at the time, and Bellissimo was inspired to deep-fry them and coat them in cayenne hot sauce for a quick dish. Her son Dominic claims that they were invented on a Friday night at midnight when their Catholic patrons were allowed to eat meat again. However, her husband Frank claims they were simply created to sell extra meat when the backs and necks they use in their spaghetti sauce weren’t delivered.
Another bar in Buffalo, NY, Duff’s Famous Wings, claims to have invented Buffalo wings in 1969. An additional account holds that John Young, an Alabama man who relocated to Buffalo, served breaded, deep-fried, and uncut chicken wings in his restaurant in 1964.
Regardless of the dish’s originator, it’s certain that Buffalo wings did originate in the Buffalo, NY, area.
The Bellissimo family was responsible for the growth and popularity of Buffalo wings. They declared July 29, 1977 to be Chicken Wing Day, and their recipe quickly spread throughout the region. It was a favorite bar food and appetizer throughout the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s and 1980s. With the arrival of franchises like Buffalo Wild Wings (which opened in 1982) and Hooters (which opened in 1983), Buffalo wings became an America food staple, with other restaurants, including McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, following after. Chefs began to develop new chicken wing sauces, including Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Indian-inspired flavors. Boneless Buffalo wings were also introduced. The continued popularity has even led to chicken wing shortages at times. Wings have since become an event food popular at sporting events like the NFL Super Bowl, cook-offs, and have even spawned an event of their own: the wing-eating contest.
For a true taste of traditional and unique Buffalo wings, stop by Buffalo Wild Wings. With 19 convenient locations throughout the New York Metro area and Connecticut, they serve a mouthwatering array of American food. Try their gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and classic wings, and enjoy your favorite sports games with friends. You can explore their menu online and follow them on Facebook for deals and updates.