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What Are Buffalo Chicken Wings?


Anchor Bar Wings
Anchor Bar’s Buffalo Wings

Buffalo chicken wings are a popular bar snack and game day delight that are on practically every bar menu. Buffalo chicken wings are unbreaded chicken drums and flats. They are deep fried and then tossed and coated in Frank’s RedHot, a spicy cayenne-based hot sauce. They are served with creamy blue cheese dipping sauce and celery.

What are Buffalo Wings?

Buffalo Wings are chicken drumettes and flats that retain their skin but are not breaded. The juicy chicken pieces are deep fried and then coated in Buffalo Wing sauce, a buttery hot sauce, and served with blue cheese dressing and celery. The blue cheese dipping sauce and raw celery have a cooling effect and are a refreshing complement to the fiery Buffalo Wing sauce.

Are Buffalo Wings Spicy?

Because Frank’s Hot Sauce is one of the traditional primary ingredients in Buffalo wings, the answer is yes, Buffalo wings tend to be spicy, but not insanely so. As far as hot sauces go, Frank’s is about as mild as it gets – not anywhere near the heat level of Tabasco, for example. They may be too spicy for somebody who has no experience with spicy foods, but for people who are accustomed to feeling the burn, they will barely register as spicy. In fact, many restaurants that offer wings start with the baseline of “mild” for classic wings, then add in additional hot sauce of increasing heat levels to offer spicier versions. On the heat scale, classic “mild” Buffalo wings clock in about 2.5 to 3 out of 10.

Why is it Called Buffalo Sauce?

Named for Buffalo, New York, the city that many regard as the birthplace of Buffalo Wings, Buffalo Sauce is a red sauce that packs a bit of heat. Buffalo Sauce is a mix of cayenne pepper, butter, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, oil, and paprika. Most recipes use Frank’s RedHot, which was invented in New Iberia, Louisiana.

Anchor Bar Wing Sauce
Anchor Bar Wing Sauce Kit
La Nova Wing Sauce
La Nova Wing Sauce

Who Invented Buffalo Wings?

Like most iconic foods, there are several origin stories. Most folks attribute the invention of Buffalo Wings to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Sicilian immigrants Frank and Teressa Bellissimo opened Anchor Bar in 1935 and invented the Buffalo Wing in 1964.

After a long shift tending bar, Dominic Bellissimo, the owners’ son, and his friends were looking for the perfect finger food as they sat around the bar. Teressa, who had extra chicken wings in the back, deep fried the wings, tossed them in buttery cayenne pepper sauce and served them with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing and the rest is history. 

Duffs Famous Buffalo Wings
Duff’s Famous Wings
International Wings Factory
International Wings Factory

There are others who believe chicken wings are rooted in Southern BBQ. During the post-Civil War Great Migration, 6 million Black people from the South moved to cities in the North, including Chicago, and brought their culinary traditions with them. At the time, Chicago was America’s largest meatpacking hub, and chicken wings were discarded by slaughterhouses. The Southern tradition of frying up chicken wings became popular in the Windy City, particularly during Prohibition, where they were served at speakeasies. 

No matter who invented them, the savory finger food is a staple on sports bar menus across the U.S. Buffalo chicken wings are so popular there are many variations, including:

  • Boneless Buffalo Wings
  • Buffalo chicken pizza
  • Buffalo chicken sandwiches
  • And Buffalo chicken dip

Why are Chicken Wings Called Buffalo Wings?

The term chicken wing is used to describe many kinds of fried chicken, but Buffalo Wings refer to the orange hued wings that were invented in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo Wings have enough heat to make your tongue tingle. They are served with tangy blue cheese sauce and crisp, cold celery. There are many kinds of chicken wings, including:

  • BBQ wings
  • Korean-style wings
  • Thai-style wings

Read More: Buffalo Wings Vs Chicken Wings

Are Buffalo Wings and Hot Wings Different?

Buffalo Wings should not be confused with hot wings. Buffalo Wings are unbreaded, deep fried chicken wings that are hot, hot, HOT! Hot wings are typically coated in a fiery chile pepper-based sauce not a cayenne-based sauce like Buffalo Wings. Hot Wings are not served with dipping sauce. Buffalo Wings are served with cooling blue cheese and celery sticks.

Most Famous Buffalo Wings and Chicken Wings

It’s time to have a wing ding with the most famous Buffalo Wings and chicken wings from America’s best bars and restaurants. Get out the Wet Naps and dig in to these finger lickin’ good wings.

Anchor Bar Hotter Buffalo Wings

Amazing Anchor Bar

You don’t have to travel all the way to Buffalo, New York to try Buffalo Wings from Anchor Bar, Buffalo’s original wings inventor. The famous finger food was created in 1964 at the award-winning bar that opened in 1935. Can you take the heat? Grab some wing sauce and a wad of napkins and indulge in medium, hotter, and extreme heat wings.

La Nova Buffalo Wings 2

Legendary La Nova

One bite of La Nova‘s crispy and juicy wings and you will understand why they’re legendary. Founded in 1957, La Nova’s owner Joey Todaro III is known as “The Wing King.” La Nova serves a classic combo of pizza and wings you won’t soon forget.

Duff's Famous Wings Mild Buffalo Wings

Delicious Duff’s Famous Wings

Celeb-favorite Duff’s Famous Wings has been serving its famous wings since 1969. Louise Duffney’s local tavern serves lovable wings in mild, medium, and hot Buffalo sauce, grilled “CharBQ”, or Spicy BBQ. Duff’s Famous Wings’ drums and wingettes come with fresh celery, baby carrots, and Duff’s famous bleu cheese dipping sauce.

Let Goldbelly be your wing man with the most legendary Buffalo Wings. Get saucy and bring on the heat with mild, medium, or hot sauces.

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Read More: Game Day Party Food Ideas