Some Other Stories
One more story that is worth mentioning is that there was a competing restaurant in Buffalo in the mid '60s called Wings and Things.
John Young created a "Mambo sauce" ( a version of a hot sauce) that he served with full chicken wings that were breaded (unlike the Anchor Bar) fried topped with sauce as opposed to tossing them in the sauce.
by Jim Galbo
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and I recall "wings" popping onto the bar scene in the late 1960's although they didn't really seem to become a popular bar food staple until the 1970's when corner taverns offered them for a mere ten cents each. They quickly advanced in price to fifteen cents and then to twenty-five cents where they remained for quite awhile. The tavern owners didn't mind not making much (if anything) on the wings themselves because they prompted increased beer and mixed drink sales to alleviate the heat factor. Currently wings sell for five to six dollars for ten pieces, that's five whole chicken wings cut into ten pieces.
The origin? I know Anchor Bar has been telling their story(ies) for many years but consider this: My late father told me of a barbeque shack on the East side of Buffalo that he and some friends used to frequent for chicken, lake fish and ribs. The owner was an older Black man (name unremembered) who relocated from the south (not sure where) who didn't barbeque the wing portion of his chickens because they often burned and the customers complained. He froze the wings and a couple times per month he would thaw and deep fry them, toss them in his hot sauce and sold them for almost nothing. No celery or carrot sticks, no bleu cheese or ranch dipping sauce, just southern fried wings in hot sauce. Coincidence?
Comentary from Stephen:
I found it interesting in this hot sauce bottle dug up that was in an African -American cafe that was 120 years old. Although every culture has had some form of hot sauce, the red Louisiana style hot sauce may have it's roots in Africa, like "The Blues" it may have been popularized in the states by the African American culture.
|| From my Chef-Botanist, friend John King, is sort of a Legend in my own mind, because he is modest andhas led a life of extreme adventure, as a free spirit chef from the 60's that hung with Joni Mitchell, Grateful dead and others…….
I have had on the subject of so-called Buffalo Wings. Namely, that I
think that it is a lot of fuss over nothing. I like hot, spicy, wet
chicken wings, mind you; and, breasts, drummies, thighs and more.
However, I was making these things well before they were "invented" in upstate New York . It is nothing but ("nothing"; but, a very good
dish!) chicken piquante; or, as I learned it, pollo picante (picante
de pollo to some).
The breasts were reserved, generally, for paying
customers; while we galley slaves made do with whatever scraps we were
able to negotiate or purloin. And, now, I see that it has gone
full-circle: people are making chicken breasts and referring to it as
being buffaloed! Yet, it's just chicken or sauce piquante, a French -
and, New Orleans - (and, old Barbary Coast or San Francisco ) classic ;
or, in my style, salsa picante or sofrito picante.
You must bear in mind that restaurateurs and almost all true chefs are a word apart
from bartenders and their minions. Not to put the latter down; just
acknowledging their overall lack of professional standing when it
comes to fine cooking and dining.
Do you want to express your Yankee do-it-yourself
tradition and try the reasonable copycat version that reveals what is so special
about the sauce?
Traditional Buffalo Wing Recipe
Come into my kitchen and let's make
Buffalo Wings with step by step pictures
Just remember when you serve these you are displaying the country's colors
with red chicken, and the white and blue that the blue cheese dressing
represents. (Perhaps here we should give credit to the French, for
inventing Bleu Cheese, and to the Spanish-Americans for the Tabasco sauce! Another great example of our multi-cultured country!)
This is a good hands-on meal and one that is truly satisfying. Enjoy these
"Wings of the free" as you watch a ball game or share good
conversation ...and give a toast to democracy and the American dream.