There’s a good chance that you’ll eat a Buffalo wing (or 28) while watching this year’s Super Bowl. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans are going to consume 1.3 billion wings on Super Bowl Sunday. For a visual, that’s enough poultry to stretch from the Panthers’ home field at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to Sports Authority Field in Denver nearly 53 times. And that’s a 3 percent increase in wing consumption from last year, when our nation supposedly only ate 1.25 billion wings during the big game.
How did the Buffalo wing take over America? It all started in snowy western New York...
There are two generally accepted Buffalo wing origin stories and they both involve Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of the original Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. The Italian restaurant and bar was founded in 1939 by Bellissimo and her husband Frank Bellissimo, but it would take two decades before Anchor Bar would make its mark in food lore. The first story comes courtesy of Frank Bellissimo and takes place on an undetermined date in the 1960s. According to Frank, the culinary innovation happened when the restaurant received an incorrect shipment. Instead of getting the typical chicken backs and necks for use in Teressa's famous spaghetti sauce, they got wings. “[The wings] were looking at you, like saying, 'I don’t belong in the sauce,’” Frank recalled in a 1980 New Yorker article. Not wanting to waste perfectly good chicken, Frank asked Teressa to try to make something new with the unwanted ingredient. She cut them in half, deep-fried them and dunked them in hot sauce. The famed appetizer was born.
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