How Did the Buffalo Wings Recipe Get Its Name?

The name buffalo wings associated with chicken wings was taken from the city of Buffalo, N.Y., where the recipe originated. The recipe was invented by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964.

Buffalo wings are deep fried chicken wings that are cut in two separate parts, the drumstick and the flat, then deep fried. After frying, the wings are immediately tossed in a special buffalo hot sauce, and then served with blue cheese salad dressing and several strips of celery. Prior to the invention of the buffalo wings, chicken wings are often discarded or are just boiled to make chicken stock.

There are two versions of the story on how the buffalo wing was invented and both stories came from the Belissimos themselves. The first version was that the buffalo wing recipe was invented because of a delivery mistake. Chicken wings were delivered to Anchor Bar, the restaurant owned by Teressa and her husband, Frank, instead of necks, which they used to make spaghetti sauce. Not wanting the wings to go to waste, Frank asked Teressa to make a bar appetizer out of the wings. Thus, the buffalo wing was invented.

The other version was from the son Dominic Belissimo who said that the buffalo wings recipe was invented when he requested his mother to cook something up to serve their guests. As some Roman Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays, Dominic asked his mother to come up with something to pass around Anchor Bar patrons at the stroke of midnight, and it was then that Teressa was said to have come up with the buffalo wings recipe.