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Buffalo wing

buffalo wings and rings, buffalo wings
A Buffalo wing, in the cuisine of the United States, is an unbreaded chicken wing section flat or drumette that is generally deep-fried then coated in a sauce consisting of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter prior to serving345 The Buffalo wing was invented in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo6 They are generally served hot, along with celery sticks and/or carrot sticks with either ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping

Buffalo wings have gained in popularity in the United States and abroad through the years with a number of North American restaurant chains featuring them as a main menu item Currently, the appellation "Buffalo" is also now commonly applied to foods other than wings7 Some of these include chicken fingers, chicken fries, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, shrimp, and pizza along with a host of other items that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or a Buffalo flavor seasoning8


  • 1 History
    • 11 Origin stories
    • 12 Growth and popularity
  • 2 Preparation
    • 21 Chicken
    • 22 Sauce
    • 23 Service
  • 3 Variations
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Origin storiesedit

There are several different claims about the invention of Buffalo wings910 One of the claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar with husband Frank in 19641011 At the time chicken wings were inexpensive and undesirable primarily being used for stock or soup12

Several versions of the story of the invention of the Buffalo wing have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others including:

  • Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her guests It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings normally thrown away or reserved for stock and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce9101312 Marketing materials for Frank's RedHot claim that it was the hot sauce used in the Bellissimos' original recipe14
  • Dominic Bellissimo Frank and Teressa's son told The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980: "It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again" He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings910
  • There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them910

Although an article published about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper during 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings, a local comeptitor of the Anchor Bar, Duff's Famous Wings, began selling Buffalo wings in that year1516

  • Another claim is that a man named John Young, who moved to Buffalo from Alabama in 1948, began serving uncut chicken wings that were breaded, deep fried and served in his own special tomato based "Mambo Sauce" at his Buffalo restaurant beginning in 196417 Prior to opening his restaurant he had a conversation with a boxer who traveled and in a later interview Mr Young recalled: "He told me that there was a restaurant in Washington, DC that was doing a good business with wings and I decided to specialize"17 In the same interview Young stated that the Anchor Bar didn't offer Buffalo wings as a regular menu item until 197417 He registered the name of his restaurant, John Young's Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving the Buffalo area in 197091018 In 2013, at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, held in Buffalo, New York, John Young's contributions were acknowledged when he was inducted into the festival's National Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame19

Growth and popularityedit

A cook preparing Buffalo wings

In 1977 the city of Buffalo issued an official proclamation celebrating Anchor Bar co-owner Frank Bellissimo declared July 29, 1977 to be Chicken Wing Day20 Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Buffalo wings gained in popularity as a bar food and appetizer across the United States and Canada21 Large franchises specializing in Buffalo wings have emerged, notably Buffalo Wild Wings founded in 1982 and Hooter's in 198322 McDonald's began selling Mighty Wings as an optional item in 1990 at their restaurant locations in the United States23 In 1994, following four Super Bowl appearances by the Buffalo Bills football team, the Domino's pizza chain added Buffalo wings to their national menu followed by Pizza Hut the next year2425

As the market for chicken wings became larger restaurants began to create and use a variety of sauces in addition to buffalo sauce26 Some of these new chicken wing sauces were influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines2728 Other flavors created by restaurants include unique combinations, such as Blueberry BBQ Wing Sauce and Maple/Bacon Glaze for example, to help keep customer interest and grow their businesses29 Because of the increased cost in the price of chicken wings, and a desire by some diners for a neater eating experience, restaurants began to offer a menu item called "boneless wings," sometimes marketed under the name wyngz3031 Boneless wings are essentially small pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast that are coated in flour and spices then fried or baked They are usually coated in or served with similar sauces as chicken wings The growth of popularity in recent years in Buffalo wing consumption and restaurants serving wings have led to actual and perceived shortages of chicken wings in the United States during certain times323334

In many areas of the United States chicken wing festivals are held with Buffalo wings being used in competitive eating events, such as at Philadelphia's Wing Bowl and the National Buffalo Wing Festival35 It has also become commonplace for restaurants to offer a wing eating contest featuring a customer eating a certain number of wings, coated in their hottest sauce during a set period of time36 Many bars and restaurants intentionally create an extra-hot sauce for this purpose, and customers are usually rewarded with their picture posted on the restaurant's wall or website, a commemorative T-shirt, a free meal or a combination of rewards for successfully completing the challenge37



The chicken wings used for Buffalo wings are usually segmented into three parts with the end section of the wing, called the flapper or pointer, being discarded Typically, the wings are deep-fried in oil until they are well browned Alternatively, they may be baked, grilled, or broiled38


Cayenne pepper, hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the base of the Buffalo wing sauce, which may be made mild, medium, or hot39 Commercial ready-to-use wing sauce is made, with varying levels of spiciness40 A popular sweet variant is the barbeque wing, in which barbecue sauce is used as the sauce instead of a hot sauce-based coating The cooked chicken wings are placed in a bowl or pot and shaken to coat the wings completely covering them in sauce before serving


Buffalo wings are usually served with small sticks of celery and blue cheese dipping sauce on the side41 Ranch dressing along with sliced carrots or whole baby carrots are often served with buffalo wings rather than the usual sides42


Crispy chicken wings with french fries

The appellation "Buffalo" is also now commonly applied to foods other than wings, including chicken fingers, chicken fries, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, shrimp, and pizza that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or variations of it

The flavor of Buffalo wings is replicated by a number of dishes A common variation on the "Buffalo" sauce flavor is found in potato chips produced by a number of different companies Many of these "Buffalo chips" also incorporate a blue cheese or ranch dressing to simulate the complete Buffalo wing experience

Today, there are many flavors of prepared wings flats, drumettes or whole wings available in addition to the original hot Buffalo style Flavors include barbecue, lemon pepper, pepper Parmesan, garlic, sweet-and-sour, honey mustard, Thai chili, Caribbean jerk, Indian butter chicken, honey garlic, habanero, ghost pepper, and peanut-butter and jelly Restaurants have also introduced hundreds of different flavors of chicken wings

See alsoedit

  • Food portal
  • List of hors d'oeuvre
  • List of regional dishes of the United States
  • Chicken lollipop
  • Swiss wing


  1. ^ Nicks, Denver "Who Actually Created Buffalo Wings" The Daily Beast Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  2. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Caitlin M "What is the Difference Between Hot Wings and Buffalo Wings" Chowhound Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  3. ^ Horwitz, Jeremy January 1, 2008 "Chicken Wings, or, Why people Know About Buffalo" Buffalo Chowcom Archived from the original on December 31, 2009 Retrieved November 18, 2009 
  4. ^ "Chicken Wings – A Hot Topic! New 2012 Wing Report!" National Chicken Council Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  5. ^ Birdsall, John "America, You're Getting Two-Thirds of the Hot Wing" Chowhound Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  6. ^ Suddath, Claire "A Brief History of Buffalo Wings" Timecom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  7. ^ Horovitz, Bruce 8 October 2009 "Spicy buffalo flavors stampede into gobs of new food products" USA Today Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  8. ^ Banfield, Kelsey "17 Hot & Spicy Buffalo Sauce-Flavored Foods" babblecom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  9. ^ a b c d e Harmon, John E "On the Wings of a Buffalo or "Mother Teressa's Wings"" Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States Retrieved January 20, 2008 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Trillin, Calvin August 25, 1980 "An Attempt To Compile A Short History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing" The New Yorker Magazine Retrieved 2008-01-22 
  11. ^ Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen, PBS, August 8, 2008
  12. ^ a b Peggy Trowbridge Filippone "Buffalo Wings History - The origins of Buffalo Chicken Wings" Aboutcom Retrieved January 20, 2008 
  13. ^ "AnchorBar - Origins of the original Buffalo Chicken Wing" AnchorBarcom Archived from the original on January 29, 2008 Retrieved January 6, 2008 
  14. ^ "Frank's RedHot & Buffalo Wing History" Franks Redhotcom Retrieved 1 May 2017 
  15. ^ Galarneau, Andrew Z 1 March 2014 "At 50, the Buffalo-style chicken wing has conquered the world" The Buffalo News Retrieved 1 May 2017 
  16. ^ Clemens, Chris "Duff's Famous Wings – Buffalo, NY" ExploringUpstatecom Retrieved 23 May 2017 
  17. ^ a b c Okun, Janice 6 February 1996 "John Young Stakes His Claim To The Chicken Wing" The Buffalo News Retrieved 4 May 2017 
  18. ^ "James Beard Foundation" THE 2003 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION COCA-COLA AMERICA'S CLASSICS AWARDS Archived from the original on January 3, 2008 Retrieved January 20, 2008 
  19. ^ "Buffalo Wing Hall Of Flame John Young "Wings and Things"" PDF National Buffalo Wing Festival Retrieved 4 May 2017 
  20. ^ Claiborne, Craig; Franey, Pierre August 30, 1981 "Food; Winging It In Buffalo" The New York Times Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  21. ^ Harmon, John E "On the Wings of a Buffalo or "Mother Teressa's Wings"" Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States Retrieved 1 May 2017 
  22. ^ Carlyle, Erin 9 March 2011 "Buffalo Wild Wings and the triumph of the chicken wing" City Pages Retrieved 5 May 2017 
  23. ^ Sozzi, Brian 30 April 2016 "McDonald's Brings Back Mighty Wings" The Street Retrieved 5 May 2017 
  24. ^ Stromberg, Joseph "A Brief History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing" Smithsoniancom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  25. ^ Upton, Emily "Why Buffalo Wings Are Called That" Today I Found Out Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  26. ^ Brox, Denene "Winging It" QSR Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  27. ^ Brownell, Claire "Why the once worthless chicken wing is now worth billions" Financial Post Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  28. ^ "Our 33 Best Asian-Inspired Finger Food Recipes" Saveur Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  29. ^ Cansler, Cherryh "Now trending: Why unique chicken wing flavors are hot" Fastcasualcom Retrieved 3 May 2017 
  30. ^ Myers, Dan "We Need to Come Up With a Better Name for Boneless Wings" The Daily Meal Retrieved 3 May 2017 
  31. ^ Neuman, William "'Boneless' Wings, the Cheaper Bite" The New York Times Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  32. ^ Bennett, Dashiell "Chicken Wing Shortage Threatens To Destroy Super Bowl" Deadspincom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  33. ^ Yglesias, Matthew "The Great Chicken Wing Shortage of 2013" Slatecom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  34. ^ Taylor, Kate "Don't Panic:There Will Definitely Be Enough Chicken Wings for the Super Bowl" Entrepreneurcom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  35. ^ "Wing Festivals Across America in 2015" Bring the Wingcom Retrieved 3 May 2017 
  36. ^ "Chicken Wing-Eating Competitions Across America" Retrieved 2015-08-24 
  37. ^ "Wing Eating Challenges in Restaurants Across America" Bring the Wingcom Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  38. ^ Barrow, Cathy "These wings are called 'irresistible' for a reason" The Washington Post Retrieved 17 September 2017 
  39. ^ Pittman, Christine "What's the Difference Between Hot Sauce and Wing Sauce" The Cookful Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  40. ^ Zimmer, Erin "Taste Test: Buffalo Wing Sauce" Serious Eats Retrieved 30 April 2017 
  41. ^ Saladino, Emily "Why Do We Eat Celery with Buffalo Wings" Tasting Table Retrieved 17 September 2017 
  42. ^ "Ranch Is The Most Popular Wing Dip POLL" Huffpost Retrieved 17 September 2017 

External linksedit

  • National Buffalo Wing Festival

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