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America's Love Affair With Buffalo Wings

Jun 18, 2008
Buffalo wings are a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm sure I'm not alone. Many of you know exactly what I mean. There isn't self-help strong enough to get you away from these babies.

You know good and well that it's not health food you're eating. That they're deep fried, and covered in a buttery, cayenne pepper sauce. And if that wasn't enough, you have the absolute nerve to dip every last wing in enough blue cheese dressing to drain a bottle dry. Yup, this will require another 57 hours on the treadmill this week.

Why do we do all this if we know it's not the most nutritious thing to put in our bodies? The answer to that is very simple. Because Buffalo wings are the most spectacular culinary concoction since the invention of the filet mignon.

Before the cooking purists out there get the posse together to have me strung-up for that last statement, let me suggest that they consider some things. Buffalo wings have only been around since 1964. This is a very short time in the grander scheme of things. And in that short time they have managed to become so widespread that you would be surprised not to find them in any bar that serves food these days, from California to Virginia, North to South, and back again.

They have managed to put the city of Buffalo, New York on the map, which is where the wings were invented, of course. And the specific place of invention, the Anchor Bar, is now a landmark and popular destination for tourists, locals, and every so often, a celebrity. The recipe has also been translated to include offshoots such as Buffalo chicken fingers, popcorn chicken, and a host of others.

Can you say that about a cut of steak? Has one ever put a city, a bar, and a recipe on the map in one fell swoop? And if you want to know something even more fun, that swoop was nothing more than an unplanned stroke of genius. But perhaps most great things are.

The story of the invention of the Buffalo wing is little more than a legend. There are four completely different versions of it, and the absolute truth is harder to pin down than a good, Yeti folktale. But since when does absolute truth have a place in legends anyway?

Most of the stories have to do with the Anchor Bar. And all of those involve this tasty dish being invented as a victim of circumstance. Sometimes it's Frank, the owner of the bar at the time, who is responsible for the creation. His son showed up late at night with a horde of his buddies from college. They were hungry, snacks had to be made, and the idea was hatched on the spot.

Other times, it's Teressa, his wife, who's the culprit. One story has the bar mistakenly getting a delivery of wings instead of the necks and backs they were expecting. Having no plan at all for a mystery crate of wings, Teressa was asked to cook something up. And boy, did she ever!

Whatever the truth of the matter is, be it one of these yarns or something a little bit different, Buffalo wings are here to stay. Not only that, but they're here to continue to grow in popularity and be recipe morphed into still newer delights.

They're great for get-togethers with friends, from the playoffs to the Superbowl. They'll be a hit as hors d'oeuvres at your next party and a taste sensation of a late night snack at your next midnight munchie binge. Buffalo wings are a crowd pleaser all around. Be it spicy or mild, with celery sticks or carrot sticks, blue cheese or ranch, it's become so that it's hard to imagine a life without Buffalo wings.

But why would you want to do that? We all have a love affair with them.
About the Author
Sebastian Marders loves writing about a variety of things and sharing the website that inspires each piece with his readers. If you would like to browse a selection of smokeless electric indoor grill, indoor grill from Farberware, or the rotisserie made by George Foreman then please visit.
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