The Story Of How Chicken Wings Became The Official Food Of Football

Buffalo wings are definitely the official food of football. All those tailgate parties and viewings at sports bars around the country wouldn’t be complete without a big platter of those hot and spicy chicken wings. There is quite a history about how fried wings came into popularity in the United States.

The Beginning of Wings in Buffalo

Pitco Buffalo Wings

It’s true, the name says it all. Buffalo chicken wings do in fact come from the city of Buffalo, New York. In the 1960s small restaurants in the Buffalo area began to serve wings in various types of sauces. Restaurant owner John Young began selling fried chicken wings covered in sauce for a nickel each. While Young’s wings were a local hit, the national chicken wing craze began once The Anchor Bar began serving the wings in the mid-60s to their customers. While all agree that serving wings wasn’t a new concept, Buffalo helped catapult their popularity, thanks in part to the game of football.

Football & Wings Become Best Friends

The majority of wings sold in the 1980s, as their popularity grew, was in western New York where Buffalo is located. Then when the Buffalo Bills football team went to the Super Bowl four times in a row, a lot of attention was given to that part of New York. Helping football and chicken wings to be connected. During the Super Bowl, it’s estimated that Americans eat at least 1.4 billion chicken wings during the game.

Even after football season, people couldn’t get enough of the orange-tinged Buffalo sauce that’s made with hot sauce and butter. Chains and restaurants around the country picked up on this bar snack trend and the fried chicken wing has been a staple ever since. Now fried chicken wings are served breaded or naked, with or without sauce, and in every flavor imaginable.

The National Chicken Wing Festival

Pitco National Chicken Wing Festival Hero Image

Buffalo is still fully a part of the chicken wing phenomenon. Each year the city hosts the National Chicken Wing Festival. Featuring eating contests, sauce cook-offs, live entertainment, and obviously a whole lot of wings, it’s been a Buffalo staple for 20 years.

Pitco is proud to be an official sponsor of the National Chicken Wing Festival. It only makes sense that our brand which makes the best in the industry fryers to cook up those delicious wings would be a part of this family-friendly event.

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Topics: Chicken Wings