For something completely different, a look at one of those foods that has become so ingrained with a place that they’re named after: the Buffalo wing.
Chicken wings are serious business in Buffalo. After being here for close to 7 years I finally have been to both Duff’s and Anchor Bar, both being wing places that claim to have deep roots in Buffalo food culture and the chicken wing.
In order to be a ‘true’ Buffalo wing, three things have to be in the sauce. While you can get different sauces in Buffalo (though honey mustard, garlic, and bbq seem to be the big three other than Buffalo), in order to be ‘true’ Buffalo sauce it has to have:
1. Frank’s Hot Sauce
The wings are deep fried and then tossed in the sauce.
There is a line in the Wikipedia for Buffalo wings that say that in the city of Buffalo we don’t call wings “Buffalo wings” and refer to them simply as wings. I suppose that’s true, though I’m not sure if I’ve ever thought about it-and I do wonder if they’re called Buffalo wings anywhere other than Buffalo wings. I do know that Buffalo wing flavored foods are called that; it’s not hot wing dip in this city, it’s Buffalo wing dip.
The creation myth as it were that I’ve heard most often is that Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar made a batch of wings to feed her son and his friends when they came in after a night of drinking. Apparently, there are other stories that claim that she made them after a snow storm or to serve meat after midnight Friday when Buffalonian Catholics could eat meat again.
Regardless of how they started, I have something controversial to say: if you go to Buffalo, Duff’s and Anchor Bar, while good, don’t have the best wings in town. I think La Pizzeria on Elmwood and La Nova do much better wings-but Duff’s on Sheridan Drive is definitely authentic and fast.