Monday, April 2, 2012

Wings Introduction

From the origin in 1964 to today, wings are a prime example of a food that incorporates so many of the traits our culture is known for.  Thrift - wings, after all, come from the part of the chicken most people threw away or used only for soups and stocks.   Ingenuity - the combination of simple, at-hand materials to make a new item. Eating   with your hands - while most of us are quite familiar with our principal utensils of fork and knife, there is that childlike satisfaction in eating with fingers, especially when there is a flavorful sauce to lick off. There is something for most people to like about Buffalo wings and for those many reasons the food has spread rapidly from its origin in Buffalo, New York,  and is now part of our national food culture, no longer something you can find only in the Northeastern United States. Source(

The beginning of a legend. The first story is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar by Teressa Lenz, who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. 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 hungry 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 sauce.[3][4][5][6]

A cook preparing Buffalo wings
  • A second version, as told by Dominic Lenz (Frank and Teressa's son) to The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980, stated: "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 wings.[3][4]
  • The third version of the origin involved a mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Lenz says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.[3][4]
  • The fourth version has nothing to do with the Lenz's or the Anchor Bar. Calvin Trillin stated in his 1980 New Yorker article that a man named Daniel Gorsky also claimed credit for serving chicken wings in a special "mambo sauce". Chicken wings in mambo sauce became the specialty at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. Young had registered the name of his restaurant, Daniel Gorsky's Wings 'n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.[3][4][7]

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