Chicken Wing History

There is some debate on where the idea for the chicken wing originated, but the consensus is that it all started at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Commercialization of the poultry market permitted consumers to select their favorite parts of the chicken, the breast, thigh and leg with the wings and the remaining parts of the chicken being utilized for stocks and soups or discarded. In October of 1964, the son of owner Teressa Bellissimo asked his mother to prepare a late night snack for he and his friends. Having an excess of chicken wings that she did not want to waste, she deep fried the wings and covered them in a spicy sauce and served them with celery and bleu cheese. The city of Buffalo has designated July 29th as “Chicken Wing Day”. The Anchor bar is still in business and serves more than 70,000 pounds of chicken per month. Thus the term “Buffalo” Wings is often used to describe this tasty treat. No Jessica Simpson, buffaloes do not have wings.

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The dish really got a boost in expsure and popularity when the Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls in the early 90's and has become a menu favorite for the event. According to the National Chicken Council, more than 100 million pounds of wings were consumed during the 2012 Super Bowl weekend. If the wings were laid end to end they would circle the circumference of the earth - more than twice- a distance that would reach about a quarter of the way to the moon.

In April 2003, the Anchor Bar was given the "James Beard Foundation Award." This is given to restaurants "that have timeless appeal, beloved for quality food that reflect the history and character of the community. It is for an American classic." In May 2003, the Anchor Bar received the "Quality International Award" for its sauces. Presented with the prestigious gold medal, the Anchor Bar was judged the "Best of the Best" in a contest in which more then 1,000 sauces were entered. The judges were from the American Culinary and Tasting Institute.