Wings n’ Things

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’ve long maintained that Frank and Teressa Belissimmo, generally credited with inventing the Buffalo wing, began the greatest marketing campaign in food history. It was obviously uncoordinated. But think about what’s become of the lowly wing. A fatty, sinewy, not particularly flavorful, high low meat-to-bone ratio part of the chicken has been transformed into a celebrated food item that now comes it its own culture, tradition, and rituals. Before the Buffalo wing, chicken wings were generally thrown out or boiled for soup stock. Now America scarfs down millions of chicken flappers every Sunday afternoon.

I bring all of this up because of this NY Times story showing just how far the wing has come. Chicken wings–bones and all–are now selling for more per pound than chicken breasts. This has spurred some restaurants to start promoting “boneless wings,” in which they cut and cook a chicken breast to more resemble a wing. Not because it’s easier to eat or tastier (though in my opinion it’s both), but because customers want wings, and it’s now actually cheaper to make fake “wings” with breast meat.

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One Response to “Wings n’ Things”

  1. #1 |  Seven at seven | One Fine Jay | 

    […] Radley Balko muses on chicken wings and reveals that he thinks that chicken breast is tastier and easier to eat than wings. When you need to wash down every bite of ill-cooked chicken breast with a swig of drink and and sauce it up to mask the cardboard flavor, it’s really difficult to agree with him. […]