Served with sauce that is spicy and a little sweet, Buffalo wings have been a game day and party staple for over 50 years. The name can be a little amusing and perplexing since, of course, a buffalo is a mammal. With the exception of bats, mammals do not have wings at all.

The “buffalo” in the name Buffalo chicken wings does not refer to any of the species of wild bovines to which the name refers, at least not directly. Rather, it is a reference to the city of Buffalo, New York, which is where the side dish first became popular. The city itself may have been named after the American bison, which is sometimes erroneously referred to as “buffalo,” or it could have been a corruption of the French term for “beautiful river.” It is interesting to note that the term “Buffalo wings” seems to have originated outside of the city. People in Buffalo refer to them simply as “chicken wings.”

When Were Buffalo Wings Invented

In the mid-1960s, there were two restaurateurs in Buffalo serving fried chicken wings with spicy sauce to their customers at around the same time. One was John Young, an African American who adapted recipes he remembered from his childhood at his Wings ‘N Things restaurant. The other was Teressa Bellissimo, who owned an establishment in Buffalo called The Anchor Bar. Both deserve credit for popularizing wings in the city, but Bellissimo’s version is closer to what most people recognize as Buffalo wings today.

What Are the Ingredients That Make Up the Famous Buffalo Sauce

When you seek out chicken wing delivery, it is probably because you are in the mood for something spicy. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the primary ingredient in Buffalo sauce is hot sauce. In fact, some people just toss the wings with hot sauce and serve them that way. However, that results in a more intense flavor that not everyone finds pleasant or tolerable. A better Buffalo sauce blends the hot sauce with at least three other ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Vinegar

Each of these ingredients adds something unique to the sauce. The butter makes it creamier and adds to the flavor. The Worcestershire sauce makes it a little more savory and well-rounded. The vinegar rounds out the flavors with its acidity.

How Buffalo Wings Became a Party Staple

Teressa Bellissimo first started serving her chicken wing recipe in 1964, and it wasn’t long after that when Buffalo wings began a popular party snack. However, no one has been able to track exactly how the association between Buffalo wings and social events came about. There are probably a number of factors at play. Originally regarded as a useless byproduct, chicken wings were inexpensive for restauranteurs and party hosts alike. They were also easy for people to eat with their fingers while watching the game. It probably helped that the spicy sauce went well with a cold beer.

Whether you’re hosting a watch party or just want to treat yourself to something extra spicy, the answer to the question, “Where can I find the best wings near me?” probably involves ordering in them for delivery.