Buffalo Wings Recipe – Unique by Laura Vitale – Perfect Football Food

Buffalo Wings Recipe – Unique by Laura Vitale

Perfect Football Food

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There are several different claims about the invention of Buffalo wings. One of the claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar with husband Frank in 1964. At the time chicken wings were inexpensive and undesirable, primarily being used for stock or soup.

Several versions of the story of the invention of the Buffalo wing have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others including:

  • 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 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.

  • Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa’s son) told The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980: “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.

  • There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar’s spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.

Although an article published about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper during 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings, a local competitor of the Anchor Bar, Duff’s Famous Wings, began selling Buffalo wings in that year.

  • Another claim is that a man named John Young, who moved to Buffalo from Alabama in 1948, began serving uncut chicken wings that were breaded, deep fried and served in his own special tomato based “Mambo Sauce” at his Buffalo restaurant beginning in 1964. 

  • Prior to opening his restaurant he had a conversation with a boxer who traveled and in a later interview Mr. Young recalled: “He told me that there was a restaurant in Washington, D.C. that was doing a good business with wings and I decided to specialize”. In the same interview Young stated that the Anchor Bar didn’t offer Buffalo wings as a regular menu item until 1974. He registered the name of his restaurant, John Young’s Wings ‘n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving the Buffalo area in 1970. In 2013, at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, held in Buffalo, New York, John Young’s contributions were acknowledged when he was inducted into the festival’s National Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame.

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