HELENA — Friday, July 29, marks National Chicken Wing Day, a day honoring the food - and those who enjoy the tasty treats. MTN News and Slim Chickens hosted a friendly competition in Helena to celebrate the occasion.
For a long time in the United States, chicken wings were considered a cheap and undesirable cut of meat. However, that all changed in the 1960s in Buffalo, New York.
There are a couple of different origin stories of the Buffalo wing. One of the claims is that in 1964 the wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teresa Bellissimo. Another claim is that John Young began serving uncut chicken wings that were breaded, deep fried and served in his tomato-based "Mambo sauce" at his Buffalo restaurant
In 1977, the City of Buffalo declared July 29, 1977, as Chicken Wing Day. Over the next few decades, the popularity exploded with restaurants across the United States and Canada adding wings to their menus. Dominoes added wings to their menu in 1994 after several Super Bowl appearances by the Buffalo Bills, with Pizza Hut following suit the following year.
There have been countless variations of Buffalo sauce since the 1960s, but a few ingredients have set the standard. To be considered Buffalo sauce it needs to be cayenne pepper based with butter and vinegar.
Americans eat more than 100 million pounds of wings every year. The wings business has become a multi-billion dollar industry with restaurants all across the nation carrying a variation of the dish with their own local take.
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