Whether you go out to watch the game or enjoy it at home, there are two things you need to do it right: beer and buffalo wings. Although buffalo wings are a game-day staple, they’re not even 60 years old, which is pretty young for a food.
So how did these spicy, bright orange wings become an indispensable snack for sports fans across America? Let’s find out.
The year is 1964, and Teresa Bellissimo is the co-owner of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Her son had been out with his friends, and he asked Teresa to make something for them when they came back late. Teresa had some leftover wings from the bar—possibly because of an erroneous shipment—and covered them in her own special sauce made from melted butter, hot sauce, and red pepper. Her son and his friends liked them so much that Teresa decided to serve them at the bar the next day.
Buffalo wings aren’t just a hit because of their spicy sauce. It’s also because of the way they’re cooked. If you’ve ever seen the wings of a whole chicken, you know that they have an angle. However, when you order buffalo wings, they look like tiny drumsticks. That’s because Teresa Bellissimo also had the brilliant idea of snapping the wings in half to make them easier to eat.
Wings and Sports
So how did buffalo wings become the go-to snack on game day? It’s all in the timing. Until about the 1980s, cooking a whole chicken was pretty common. But as Americans began to prefer boneless chicken, the wings became a byproduct. They were very cheap, so restaurants could sell them at a relatively low price and still make a decent profit. They also noticed that their beer sales went up, as the spicy and salty wings made patrons thirsty. Some places, including the Anchor Bar, served them free of charge for a time because they knew they would make up the difference in beer sales. This was also about the time when satellite TV was becoming common, so sports bars could easily show the games.
Buffalo Wings and More at Luisa’s
What are you doing on game day? Whether you’re having friends over or watching the game by yourself, you need buffalo wings from Luisa’s Pizza. Check out our menu to see everything we have to offer from pizza to subs to sides.