The History of America's Favorite Game Day Appetizer: Buffalo Wings!
Americans eat more than one billion of these every year! Yes, you guessed it, Buffalo Wings! But where did this spicy snack originate? The name says it all…Buffalo! It all started in 1964 in Buffalo, NY at the now famous Anchor Bar where it is said they were invented.
There are a couple of versions of how Buffalo wings took flight and became one of America’s favorite bar foods. The Anchor Bar’s original owners, Teresa and Frank Bellissimo, said that Buffalo wings were created due to an accidental shipment of wings instead of other chicken parts. They didn’t know what to do with all of them so Frank asked his wife to create something special. Their son, Dominic, had his version of the story. Dominic’s account claimed that one late night he had been drinking with friends and asked his mother to concoct something for them to eat. His mom then threw together what she had on hand, basically an over abundance of chicken wings.
So how were these treats originally made? Teresa deep-fried a batch of un-breaded chicken wings and tossed them in a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce, butter, and a few secret ingredients. She served them with carrot sticks and celery along with blue cheese dipping sauce. The sauce acted as a cooling agent for the spicy food.
In 1977, the city of Buffalo issued an official proclamation honoring Anchor Bar co-owner Frank Bellissimo and declared July 29, 1977 to be Chicken Wing Day. As a result, Buffalo’s National Buffalo Wing Festival occurs every Labor Day weekend and it is the world’s most popular celebration of the chicken wing!
This food trend caught on across the country and now you can find Buffalo wings all over the world. Other great wing restaurants serve up their own recipes, sides, and dipping sauces. Yet Anchor Bar fans claim their wings are the best ever! No matter which version of the story one wants to believe, Buffalo wings became a huge hit that night and the rest is history.