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Published:June 24th, 2008 09:52 EST
American Junk Food: Buffalo Wings

American Junk Food: Buffalo Wings

By Daniel Mabee

Parties, bars, sporting events - you know the places where delinquent Buffalo wings typically hang out. Sure, it may not yet be football season, but there`s no doubt that somewhere in your city, there are blazing hot wings. Your closest friends may be sneaking a platter with ranch - your children have probably even had some. But, really, is that so bad?

There is little doubt that Buffalo wings are everywhere on America`s streets. The saucy drums even have nationwide chains, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, dedicated to them. And it`s no wonder! These little morsels are devillishly good. Blue cheese or ranch, breaded or unbreaded, spicy or mild, drums or wings - wings comes in all shapes and flavors.

Despite the popularity enjoyed by the little wings that could, their history is relatively short. It is a matter of (passionate) contention as to who exactly came up with the idea, but most evidence points to a little joint called the Anchor Bar in - you guessed it - Buffalo, New York.

The legendary date for the Buffalo wing`s (supposed) birth is October 30, 1964. As the story goes, Anchor owners Frank and Teressa Bellisimo needed a late night snack to feed their son, Dominic, and a few of his friends. Having an unusual excess of chicken wings (which were typically only used for soups), they came upon the idea of frying up the excess bits and slathering them in hot sauce. To cut the spice, celery and blue cheese were added, and presto - Buffalo wings.

Whatever the true story may be, what is known is that the snack was an instant sensation. Several bars in Buffalo were soon offering the dish, and it didn`t take long for the idea to sweep across the nation. Still, nobody loves wings more than Buffalonians (well, except maybe this author) - the Anchor Bar alone fries up almost one million pounds of wings each year! And if you happen to be in Buffalo next month, July 29 is the 31st annual Chicken Wing Day.

Soon enough, the football season will kick off, and with it will come a swell of wings - but that`s no reason you can`t enjoy them right now! Too spicy for you? Try Jamaican jerk wings - or garlic wings.

Maybe you`ll see what Buffalo sees.

I have.