In celebration of Texas Chicken & Burger’s April buffalo wings promotion, where customers can get 8 pieces of buffalo wings for just $4.99, our menuplanners wanted to offer the interested public a brief bit of history of this delicious and iconic snack. From Superbowl parties to the sports bar, buffalo wings have become one of the most popular easy eats across our nation. Here’s a quick guide to their origins.
Early Origins of Buffalo Wings in Buffalo, New York
Just 50 years ago, wings were considered one of the least favored parts of the chicken often cooked to make chicken stock. But things changed in 1964 - the year the head of Buffalo, New York’s Anchor Bar, Teressa Bellissimo, invented the dish of buffalo wings. There’s two different tales of how wings were first dreamed up. Teressa’s husband Frank, who founded the bar with Teressa in 1939, tells an account involving of an accidental delivery of chicken wings instead of the necks usually used to cook spaghetti sauce. In order to avoid wasting the wings, they were cooked into a bar appetizer.However, Dominic, the child of Frank and Teressa who began managing the restaurant in the 1970s, tells a different story. On a Friday - a day Roman Catholics like the Teressa’s usually only ate fish and vegetables - the bar was doing very well, so Teressa began cooking up a special free dish to give out at midnight. Teressa decided to pick up chicken wings - which again, was considered a very invaluable food at the time - cutting each wing in half to create a drumstick and a ‘flat’ part. Then the wings were deep-fried sans breading, covered in hot sauce, and served up with celery from the bar’s antipasto dish, as well as blue cheese salad dressing. Within weeks, the dish became wildly popular.
Alternate Wing Accounts
John E Harmon, a scholar who wrote a pop culture Atlas of the Northeastern US, writes that the origin of the dish was improvised by Teressa to serve her son and a group of his friends when they came into the bar late at night. The New Yorker’s Calvin Trillin tells an alternate story verbally told to him by a certain John Young who took credit for the invention of the buffalo wing. Young told Trillin that while growing up in Buffalo's African-American community, he regularly ate chicken wings as a special dish - and invented a special ‘mambo sauce’ for the wings that he served out of his restaurant - however, he served his wings breaded and whole.It’s not clear which one of these creation stories is factual - perhaps they both are. But what is clear is that in subsequent years, buffalo wing popularity spread across the entire country, spreading to other cities, states, and restaurants. Duff’s, an early master of the recipe, is still a favorite buffalo wing joint among many Buffalo residents - and chans like Wings N’ Curls in Florida became wildly popular. Trillin’s New Yorker article about the dishes disputed origins helped further popularized the dish - bolstered by the 1983 founding of the bar chain Hooter’s, which made wings one of their central concepts.In 1994, the pizza chain Domino’s spent over 31 million dollars to publicize their buffalo wing menu roll out, which was then copied by Pizza Hut. Since then, buffalo wings have become ubiquitious throughout the United States, as well as in places like Qatar, Dubai, and Saudi America. There’s no debating the iconic level of recognition this delicious dish has garnered - not to mention the amazing flavorfull value that Texas Chicken & Burger’s offers buffalo wing loving customers throughout the entire country,.