What's the deal with chicken wings ?

I enjoy eating chicken wings just as much as anyone, but I don’t get one thing:

Why are wings so damn popular, at this point in time?

It almost seems that chicken wings are rapidly replacing the once staple favorite American cliche of “hamburgers and apple pie.” You can see many restaurants proudly touting WINGS just about everywhere you look.

So, what’s the deal with wings? What started this trend?

No evidence to cite, but I think it represents chicken’s crossover into the "snack food’ category in the food industry. Chicken used to be Dinner or Soup.

It’s not your parent’s chicken anymore.:stuck_out_tongue:

chicken wings taste like cow…

Of course, you realize that when you eat chicken wings, you are not actually eating chicken. The wings were considered junk for eons because there is only half a bite of meat on the thickest one. So what people are gobbling up is all the fried breading heaped on that tiny morsel of “chicken”.

I’m serious. I used to get kentucky fried chicken and just eat the breading, it was so good…

About 20 years ago I was in New York (the state,not the city) and a whole bunch of restraunts had signs up proclaiming “WE HAVE WINGS” I thought that was really weird. I’d been all over the country and hadn’t seen such a big deal made over chicken wing. Of course, the Wings they were talking about weren’t like the wings you get when mama makes a chicken for sunday dinner. Anyway, about 5 years or so after that I began to see those type of wings more & more at home (Wisconsin). Now they’re all over the place.

Am I correct to assume that they’re called Buffalo wings because they first caught on in Buffalo, New York?

I agree with you 110%. That’s the very thing that ticks me off about wings. They are a worthless source of food, AFAIK. But they are yummy.

According to this site:


Buffalo wings were probably invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964.

I prefer buffalo fingers to buffalo wings. You actually get some chicken out of the deal, and no bones and nasty gristle to deal with.

Wings are frequently not breaded, and they still amount to a pretty good meal if you eat a pile of them.

I, too, found that wings came out of nowhere. Not long before that, `chicken fingers’ seemed to come out of nowhere. All my life, no chicken fingers. Suddenly, everybody’s selling chicken fingers. Same with spinach/artichoke dips. What gives? Is there a company that invents new restaurant staples?


Well most likely just a fad; my junior high french teachers (from Quebec) mentioned more than once that quebecers were nuts about wings, though perhaps not as crazy about the rest of the bird… that was about 10 years ago.
Wings have a lot of skin and dark meat, which makes them a bit tastier (if you like the juicy bird’s-armpit taste:p) for one thing, and they’re probably not very expensive compared to other “cuts” of chicken.
Easy and quick to prepare, and you can get drunken college kids to drag themselves and all their friends into your restaurant/bar on a predictable basis to see who can eat the most… and if they happen to buy $50 worth of beer to wash them down, who’s complaining?
Even at the low prices they charge for wings, say 25 cents, you end up with perhaps 8 cents worth of meat, 7 cents worth of skin fat, breading or spices, and 10 cents worth of bones - don’t quote me on those numbers, I just estimated.

Buffalo wings did originate in Buffalo NY in the '60s. The owners were trying to figure out what type of cheap snack they could serve with beer that might make the customers drink more. Wings became more and more popular and the name Buffalo was dropped for just wings. I personally think that wings are a gift from the Gods with the hottest sauces and the coldest beer.

Ponderosa has the BEST chicken wings at their buffet. They’re good for an appetizer.

And these are battered, not breaded.

Two weeks ago, here in Akron, they had a wing contest.

The local Scorchers won. As I haven’t eaten there, I can’t comment, other than to say my 12-year old agreed.

Wendell Wagner got it right. I went to college in Buffalo in the early 1980s and wings were huge locally there, but little known in other parts of the country. All the bars served them, and the late night munchy decision was always “pizza or wings?” Everyone in Buffalo knew that the Anchor Bar had invented them, though.

It was fun in later years when I moved to the Boston area, and Buffalo wings were just gaining popularity there. A suprising number of people had no idea why they are called “Buffalo wings”.

It was in Buffalo in 1978 that I first encountered ‘buffalo wings’.

What no one here has yet mentioned is the bleu cheese dipping sauce that went with them.

Anyone remember that?

buffalo wings are never breaded they are cooked in a deep fat fryer for 17 minutes @325 degrees then tossed in an equal amout of butter and franks red hot then served with celery and bleu cheese preferably kens steak house

The chicken wings I used to have were neither battered nor breaded, just cooked or roasted.

You need those hot and spicy source though.

As a Buffalo native, I can say that chicken wings (NEVER “Buffalo wings”) became commonplace in the area around the mid-1970s – every pizzeria served 'em. (Buffalo-style pizza is a phenomenon for another thread.) They spread north first, to Buffalo’s “cottage country” along the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, then up the QEW – I remember my first sighting in Toronto around 1982 or 1983. There’s more Toronto-Buffalo interaction than Rochester-Buffalo interaction – wings were slow to spread eastbound on the Thruway, but they finally became commonplace in Rochester in the late 1980s.

There was probably some point when wings hit critical mass, from being a local specialty to a regional food to a national phenomenon. Why wings, and not lutefisk or Rocky Mountain oysters or some other local delicacy, I don’t know.