Buffalo Wings, Football, and Beer...The combination that millions enjoy on a weekly basis since the early 1960's. But where did it all begin? The story is one born out of a craving for a late night snack. The acclaimed creator of the buffalo chicken wing is Teressa Bellissimo, who create the dish in where else but Buffalo, New York. She first made buffalo chicken wings when her son and his friends requested a late night snack some evening in late 1964. They were immediately a hit and being the savvy restaurant owner that she was, the Anchor Bar (her restaurant) put the salty/spicy wings on the menu. Of course the dish was made complete with celery slice and bleu cheese sauce.
The story doesn't end there though. Dick Winger (what a name!), who sold hot sauces to the Anchor Bar, decided to take Teressa's son (Dominic Bellissimo) on the road to sell buffalo sauce around the country. Although we can't speak to the exact numbers of their sales, the magnitude and popularity of the new 'Buffalo Sauce' can be seen in it's use as one of the most common sauces used today.
So why buffalo wings and football?
The connection and rise of Buffalo Wings had just as much to do with taste as it did economics. Consumers tended to cook whole chickens in the 60's and 70's, but in the 80's trends began to change. Consumers were starting to lean towards their chicken being boneless and skinless, which meant that meat producers became an inexpensive and less-preferred byproduct of the industry. The now inexpensive protein exploded as a staple in restaurant menus across the US. Restauranteurs loved the wings because they were cheap and consumers would often order them with beer, thus boosting sales even more. Who doesn't love a spicy Buffalo Wing and a pint of ice-cold beer?!?
The connection to football and buffalo was inevitable, as sports became more prevalent in bars and restaurants due to the growing technology behind satellite dishes and multiple TVs in the dining areas. Plus, wings are always best shared with friends and are the perfect 'group food' for a tailgate or football game. So naturally we come together to share spicy and savory Buffalo Wings, Beer, and some football.
And that's it... that's the story of Buffalo Wings, Beer, and Football. Happy tailgating!