It’s an unofficial fact: No Super Bowl party is complete without food. But what one item is the granddaddy of all Super Bowl grub? While pizza, chips and salsa, ribs, nachos, subs, potato skins, and tacos and many other contenders have all thrown their tasty hats onto the field, one item, in particular, has been described as the “key at any Super Bowl party” by Today. While the title likely gave it away, we’re pretty sure you would have gotten there on your own. Yes, we’re talking about chicken wings. Read on for a roundup of everything you’ve always wanted to know about these sizzling, satisfying, sauce-slathered snacks.
The Birth of a National Food Treasure
Darwin may have written the seminal, Origin of the Species, but the origin of the chicken wing has also elicited a surprising amount of buzz. Why? Because much like some of the world’s most beloved foods, the specifics surrounding the invention of the chicken wing are hotly contested.
One thing we do know? Just a mere half-century ago, chicken wings were one of the least popular parts of the chicken. However, once chefs figured out that frying them and covering them in sauce resulted in inimitable deliciousness, chicken wings quickly ascended from ho-hum to hot stuff.
So where did they come from? It’s widely accepted that the Buffalo wings we know and love today were invented in, well, Buffalo — specifically at the city’s Anchor Bar. Beyond that, though, the history of the chicken wings becomes less concrete.
According to a 1980 The New Yorker piece, “An Attempt to Compile a Short History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing,” Anchor Bar’s original proprietors, Frank and Teresa Bellissimo, claim the invention was a simple mistake: After receiving an unwanted delivery of chicken wings, Frank challenged Teresa to create a bar food out of them. “Voila”, say the Bellissimos. The birth of the Buffalo wing!
However, Frank and Teresa’s son, Dom, put a different spin on the story. Per his account, Teresa unveiled the tasty treat as a midnight snack for a hungry crowd of Roman Catholics emerging from their Friday fast.
Meanwhile, the National Chicken Council reports that Teresa actually cooked up the world’s first Buffalo wings as a late-night snack for Dom and his buddies.
Regardless of which account is correct, these deep-fried, hot sauce-laden beauties — served with a side of celery and bleu cheese, natch — went on to become a popular speciality.
“While it’s uncertain which creation myth is most accurate, what happened over the next few decades is clear: buffalo chicken wings exploded in popularity across the country. During the 70′s, the recipe spread to other eateries in the city and state – Duff’s, an early adopter, remains a favorite wing joint of many Buffalonians.”
The Perfect Super Bowl Snack
So how did chicken wings go on to become a succulent staple at Super Bowl parties every year? As more people started to gather together to watch the game with friends, chicken wings were a natural fit. Explains the National Chicken Council,
“Wings were easily shareable and affordable, a great “group food” to eat with other people, and are the perfect pairing with a pitcher of beer. And so the pigskin-chicken wing bond was born.“
Just how popular are chicken wings come Super Bowl Sunday? The National Chicken Council’s most recent annual “Wing Report” shed some fascinating light on the subject, predicting that a staggering 1.3 billion wings — enough for every person in the U.S. to have four wings apiece — would be consumed in the weekend leading up to and during the 2016 contest between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Laid end to end, they would stretch from Charlotte, North Carolina to Denver, Colorado nearly 53 times.
And perhaps most interestingly of all, the National Chicken Council also established a connection between city wing sales and success in the NFL playoffs. The takeaway? If you want your home team to bring home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy, add more wings to your Super Bowl bash menu.
One last thing to keep in mind? While hot and spicy Buffalo flavor may be a force to be reckoned with, sweet and tangy BBQ offers some steep competition when it comes to sauce supremacy. The good news? It doesn’t have to be an either/or deal. Whether you’re a Buffalo purist, a BBQ devotee, or simply content to nosh on whatever wing whim suits your fancy at any given moment, the world’s most amazing chicken wings are now just a cluck — we mean click — away thanks to the power of mail order food.
After all, why settle for anything less than the best when you can have Duff’s Famous Wings shipped straight to your door in your choice of Buffalo, BBQ or a combination of the two? They’ll even include fresh celery, baby carrots, and Duff’s famous bleu cheese dipping sauce to ensure the ultimate chicken wing-eating experience. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to get your wing on by browsing chicken wings and everything else you need to assemble for an epic game day spread this Super Bowl.