Tuesday, September 8, 2009


There are four legends about the origins of the first Buffalo wings.
Nobody seems bothered about the variations in the stories of how things happened, though. What is clear that is was the early to mid-1960s and it was in Buffalo, New York

* Most people who have even thought about the origin have heard and believe the first version of the legend . Teressa and Frank Bellisimo owned the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. In this version, she invented Buffalo chicken wings in 1964 when her son Dominic and his friends came to the bar looking for a quick late night snack. "Mother Teressa" (Buffalonians take their wings very seriously) was preparing to make chicken stock with a bunch of wings and, improvising, stuck them under the broiler (later they switched to deep frying), sprinkled them with a hot sauce she concocted from a commercially available base (Frank's), took some celery sticks off the antipasto dishes, put some blue cheese dressing (the house dressing) in a small bowl and served them.
* All the principals are now deceased, but Dominic, who took over the bar from his parents, told the story differently to Calvin Trillin (1980) of the New Yorker magazine. According to Dominic, 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. So, according to this version, Dom did not stop by with his friends, he was trying to be the good host at the bar. It was still Terressa who came up with the idea.
* Frank told a third story. It involved a mis-delivery of wings instead backs and necks for making the bar's spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, he says he asked Teressa to do something with them. Although the details are a little different, none of the tellers ever seemed too upset about the other versions. After all, the bar was a family affair and so were the wings it has become famous for. It was Frank who was memorialized in the 1977 City of Buffalo proclamation of July 29 as Chicken Wing Day, though.

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