This one is for all you wings lovers (generally the mucky clucks with sauce smeared all over their faces, hands and t-shirts). We have great news, we’ve expanded our wings menu! So, to celebrate, this week we’re looking at the origins of the wings that started it all.
The Buffalo Wings.
Back in 1964, Teressa Bellissimo, the co-owner and chef of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York (where the name comes from, obvs) created one of food’s happiest ever accidents.
It all came about from a mistaken delivery: chicken wings instead of chicken necks and backs, which the Bellissimo family typically used to make their spaghetti sauce.
From here on in, the story gets a bit confusing.
The first version of how the wings were created is that Dominic Bellissimo (son of Teressa) came into the bar late one Friday night with his friends and asked his mother to throw them together a quick snack. Teressa was in the kitchen preparing some chicken stock for making soups and sauces using the chicken wings, so she decided to broil some instead and serve them to her son and his mates.
Probably because she thought they’d be too pissed to notice.
But Dominic used to tell a different and slightly more colourful story. The bar used to attract a large crowd of Catholics and, at the time, it was usual for Catholics to only eat fish and vegetables on a Friday. So Dominic thought, on one particularly busy Friday night that, as a thank you to his customers, he would bring something free out for them to eat at midnight when they were permitted eat meat again.
He asked his Mother to put something together and all she could find was a crate of chicken wings in the kitchen. Hallelujah.
Finally, Frank Bellissimo (husband of Teressa) has got his own story. It’s the simplest one, so it’s probably true.
Basically the bar got some wings delivered by accident. And they cooked them up a storm.
The one thing they do all agree on, is that, after some time experimenting, Teressa emerged from the kitchen with fried wings covered in a melted butter, vinegar and hot pepper sauce, served with celery and blue cheese salad dressing.
And then it really kicked off.
The popularity of Buffalo Wings in is in part thanks to the American Football team “Buffalo Bills”, who made it to the Super Bowl four seasons in a row between 1990-93.
During this period the area of Buffalo garnered a lot of media attention. The local food scene was covered and in particular a light was shone on the wings that had, by now, become synonymous with the area.
So, with Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, we say: get yourself on Deliveroo and order in some Buffalo Wings from Yard & Coop for your Super Bowl party.
And here’s to you Teressa and your wings that are truly bellissimo!