When we talk about popular culture, we think of movies, TV and radio songs. Maybe we think about fashion and books too. But there is a part of popular culture which includes food. Just as trends happen in other areas of contemporary life, they happen in food items too. Pita bread sandwiches and smoothies are just two examples of foods no one in the United States probably ate 30 years ago. Buffalo wings have taken over the States over the last 25 years so that these are available as appetizers in nearly all corporate run restaurants and sports bars, as well as mom and pop watering holes. They are synonymous with “bar food” and consumers have come to expect Buffalo wings on the menu.
So what are Buffalo wings? The name sounds ghastly, but they are an ingenious use of the small wings of chicken that were once considered useless for human consumption. Buffalo wings take their name from the city in New York where they supposedly originated. Hot wings, as they are also called is a recipe that uses battered deep fried chicken wings, or the drumettes of smaller birds, laced with a tangy BBQ-like sauce. Whether or not “wings”, as they are sometimes called, actually began in Buffalo is unclear, but the name has caught on. Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping and to take the edge off the spicy sauce. Buffalo Wild Wings coupons are available for sauces you can use on your own wings you make at home, or for discounts on the wings sold at local restaurants.
Buffalo wings are definitely a “party” food and are marketed to young people; especially men aged 20-35. People eat these when they want to celebrate something or howl at the moon after a long work week. They have a reputation for being a “guy” food eaten during “the big game” in sports bars or in the living rooms where loving wives allow for and cater to their husband’s buddies for a Sunday afternoon. Wings are messy to eat and not something most women would want to eat on a first date! In recent years, KFC has jumped on the bandwagon, along with Pizza Hut, offering Wings on their menus for easier access to these delicious appetizers. Because of this, you will see wings at tailgate parties across the nation where you may not have seen them before.
The addictive element of wings is the batter and the sauces. Of course, any food that is fried is generally a crowd favorite, but since wings have so little meat on them, sauce and batter are critical. There are recipes here as well as all over the internet. Recipes have been adapted to include sauces that are more mild and easier for children and people with sensitive stomachs to eat. For people who make wings at home, there are recipes that include “boneless” wings (small chicken strips) that offer the taste and feel of wings, but reduce the mess and clean up. Boneless, mild “wings” are a favorite among kids and have made the menu on many school cafeteria menus. Most grocery stores now sell ready-made sauces for wings so it is relatively easy to make wings at home.
Riding on the frenzy of popular culture, the franchise Buffalo Wild Wings has become a household name and it is likely that this bar and grill has a location near you. These pubs have taken the key elements of what Buffalo wings represent and made them in to locations where people can meet and watch the game. This company is famed for selling its sauces for you to take home or to try on the wings made there. Here, the name of the game is “hot”. The hotter and spicier the better and these establishments even host contents to see who can eat 12 wings with the spiciest sauce.
If you have not tried Buffalo wings because you think they do
not look appetizing, you are disenfranchising yourself from a new
American tradition. Even if you do not like them, it is practically a
cultural obligation for you to partake in this party food. Super
spicy or mild, boned or boneless, there is a wing for all tastes and
ages. Whatever kind of wings you try, do not ignore the celery sticks
that come with them. Your mouth will thank you as you rip off a cool
crunchy chunk of tongue calming green!