Wings at Your House?

Will you be having buffalo/chicken wings during the Super Bowl? Where are the best wings?

With the Super Bowl around the corner, it seems that buffalo chicken wings may have become the country’s favorite football-watching food. While the annual rumors that we’re running out of wings simply aren’t true, wings have indeed become the most expensive part of the chicken due to their popularity when fried and covered in buffalo sauce.

Few of us realize, though, that less than 50 years ago, wings were considered one of the least desirable cuts of the chicken—a throwaway part often cooked into stock—and “buffalo” was just a wooly ungulate that wandered the Plains.

Despite the recency of the invention, the event itself is shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, there is one thing we know for certain: the “buffalo” in the name definitively refers to the city in Western New York. The most authoritative account is by New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, who investigated the dish’s history in 1980 as he sampled the city’s most well-regarded wing joints. He presented two competing versions of how a stroke of serendipity led Teressa Bellissimo, proprietor of the Anchor Bar, to invent the dish in 1964.

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Brian

    Yes. And the best wings are located here in the Baltimore area: CR Wings in Bel Air, Maryland … and GO RAVENS!

  • Terry

    We import sauce from Buffalo, NY for wings and sell a ton of them on Super Bowl Sunday. This day is also, traditionally, the biggest pizza sales day of the year. It’s nice not having to choose which to enjoy. And we get to enjoy more this year with former Duck, LaMichael Janes suiting up for the Niners.

  • scotmcknight

    Terry, didn’t know it was a big pizza day. Here’s to another good run for the Ducks next season (without Chip). My wife’s sister’s son-in-law (our niece’s husband) played for Chip at UNH.

  • Eric Pagan

    I believe that you had a good experience at Hackett’s Hot Wings in Joplin, MO when you spoke at my alma matter (Ozark Christian College). I’m no wing expert, but I know I’ve never had better than Hackett’s.

  • scotmcknight

    Eric, indeed.

  • Nathan

    Enjoyed today’s game but without chicken wings. Would urge everyone to do some research on how chickens (and other livestock) are treated today. It’s sad but true that most chickens are bred and raised in ways that are incompatible with a Christian faith of compassion and love. The film Amazing Grace has an excellent opening scene when William Wilberforce is compelled to intervene when he sees a horse being treated brutally. His Christian heart was moved whenever he saw cruelty of any kind. A great model.

  • Jeff Y

    I grew up in Buffalo and Buffalo wings have just “always been.” I think the first time I had some was in the late 60′s or early 70′s (somewhere between ’69-71) at a pizza restaurant. I was hooked from the first time I tasted one. From my memory, the Anchor Bar was always talked about as the origin as a kid.


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