The Kitchen Sink: 50 years of Buffalo wings

Photo from Wikicommons

Photo from Wikicommons

It may only be the 48th Super Bowl, but Buffalo wings will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.  The wings were first served in 1964 at the family-owned restaurant, Anchor Bar, in Buffalo, N.Y. They were the creation of Teressa Bellissimo, an Italian immigrant, who covered them in her own special sauce and served them with a side of blue cheese and celery because that’s what she had in her pantry.

On Super Bowl Sunday, finger-licking fans will consume an estimated 1.25 billion Buffalo wings, according to the National Chicken Council.

The men in Bellissimo’s life — her husband Frank and son, Dominic, disagreed on why she first made the wings. Frank said she whipped them up after the bar had received a shipment of wings by accident and didn’t know what to do with them. Dominic claimed the wings were a midnight snack for him and his friends after a night of drinking.

All three family members have died, and the true story with them. But the city of Buffalo doesn’t mind either way, and celebrates Chicken Wing Day on July 29 each year.

The deep fried, orange-coated finger foods were a regional food until the mid-1980s when Philadelphia discovered them. A wing-eating contest called the Wing Bowl started in Philadelphia and has taken place there since then.Ultimately, the treat winged its way to platters of football fare down the coast and across the country.


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2 Responses to The Kitchen Sink: 50 years of Buffalo wings

  1. Glen February 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    As an ex-pat Buffalo native, I was overjoyed to learn about Chicken Wing Day on July 29! Best recipe: Bottle of Frank’s Red Hot (the original, not the Wing Sauce or any other variety), quarter to half stick of butter and a capful of white vinegar. SO GOOD.

  2. Micheal February 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Thought it wo’undlt to give it a shot. I was right.