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The Untold Saga of Buffalo Wings: A Spicy Journey of Flavor and Legends

The Untold Truth About Buffalo Wings

Buffalo wings have become a beloved American dish, often enjoyed at sporting events and gatherings. But do you know the fascinating history and facts behind these spicy, tangy treats? In this article, we’ll uncover the untold truth about Buffalo wings, from their accidental invention to their rise in popularity to the surprising statistics surrounding their consumption.

The Birthplace of Buffalo Wings

The legendary Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York is the birthplace of the Buffalo wing. Unlike many other American dishes with European origins, Buffalo wings have a purely American heritage. In 1964, on a Friday night, a mix-up in the supply chain resulted in the bar receiving an order of chicken wings instead of chicken necks. Bar owner Teressa Bellissimo decided to fry the wings, toss them in sauce, and serve them as a late-night snack to her son Dominic and his friends. Little did she know that this accidental creation would become a culinary sensation.

The Original Sauce Recipe

Teressa Bellissimo’s original sauce recipe for Buffalo wings was a well-kept secret. However, it is widely believed to have consisted of just two ingredients: butter and Frank’s RedHot Sauce. The combination of the spicy hot sauce and the crispy fried wings proved to be a winning combination. And contrary to popular belief, Buffalo wings were traditionally served with blue cheese dressing, not ranch dressing. The Anchor Bar menu proudly states that its wings are served with celery and blue cheese, just as Teressa served them that famous night in 1964.

The role of the Buffalo Bills

While Buffalo Wild Wings is often credited with popularizing Buffalo wings, another organization played a significant role in promoting this culinary delight: the Buffalo Bills football team. In the early ’90s, when the Bills consistently made it to the Super Bowl (although they did not win), media coverage of the team also highlighted the local cuisine, including the famous Anchor Bar wings. This exposure helped spread the love of Buffalo wings across the country, making them a staple at sporting events and parties.

The love of Buffalo wings

Buffalo wings have become synonymous with the Super Bowl, where Americans consume an astonishing number of wings. According to the National Chicken Council, an estimated 1.4 billion wings were consumed by Americans during the Super Bowl. But the love affair with wings doesn’t end there. A 2017 survey found that the average non-vegetarian in the United States consumes about 24 wings per month, which adds up to nearly 300 wings per year. Over a lifetime, that’s nearly 18,000 wings! Interestingly, the survey also found that barbecue sauce has surpassed buffalo sauce as the top choice for wing toppings, although buffalo sauce still remains in the top three.

The Wing Bowl Phenomenon

For a time, there was an actual event called the Wing Bowl, where competitive eaters competed to see who could consume the most wings. The Wing Bowl began in 1993 in Philadelphia as a celebration for locals during the Eagles football off-season. However, the event came to an end when the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl in 2018 and emerged as champions. The last Wing Bowl champion, Molly Schuyler, devoured a staggering 501 wings. The event has had its share of scandals, including WWE legend Mick Foley being disqualified for cheating after he was caught stuffing uneaten wings into a fanny pack.

Buffalo wings in pop culture

Buffalo wings have made appearances beyond the realm of food. In an episode of the television show iCarly titled “iChristmas,” an angel named Mitch thanks Carly for her good deed by enjoying a plate of buffalo wings. This playful twist on the concept of angel wings demonstrates the cultural significance of buffalo wings and their association with indulgence and satisfaction.
Buffalo wings have come a long way since their accidental creation at the Anchor Bar. From their humble beginnings to becoming a game-day staple and symbol of American cuisine, their journey is nothing short of remarkable. So the next time you sit down to enjoy a plate of Buffalo wings, remember the untold truth behind this iconic dish.


The origin of Buffalo wings can be traced back to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, where they were accidentally created in 1964.

Why are they called Buffalo wings?

Buffalo wings are named after the city of Buffalo, New York, where they were invented. The name has nothing to do with the animal, but rather pays homage to the birthplace of this iconic dish.

What is the traditional sauce for Buffalo wings?

The traditional sauce used for Buffalo wings is a combination of butter and Frank’s RedHot Sauce, creating a tangy and spicy flavor that has become synonymous with the dish.

Should Buffalo wings be served with blue cheese or ranch dressing?

Traditionally, Buffalo wings are served with blue cheese dressing. The Anchor Bar, where Buffalo wings were invented, serves them with celery and blue cheese, the way they were originally served in 1964.

How popular are Buffalo wings in the U.S.?

Buffalo wings are incredibly popular in the United States, especially during events like the Super Bowl. Americans consume billions of wings each year, making them one of the most popular party foods in the country.

Has Buffalo sauce remained the top choice for wing toppings?

While Buffalo sauce is a classic wing topping favorite, recent surveys indicate that barbecue sauce has surpassed Buffalo sauce as the number one choice among wing lovers. However, Buffalo sauce still remains in the top three most popular sauces for wings.

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