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2/4/2014 10:11:00 AM
Wing binge: Ode to Buffalo

Superbowl Sunday is behind us, thank heaven, and life can resume for many people. The Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks in a bruising contest in New Jersey, where the Garden State’s governor/president wanna-be is imploding.

The annual brawl between professional football’s best teams is akin to watching paint dry for some aesthetes. To tens of millions of others, however, the game is a very big deal, when fans binge on chicken wings, nachos, pizza and chips.

Dieticians say Super Bowl Sunday is the highest calorie-consumption day of the year, behind Thanksgiving. Fans routinely consume 2,000 extra calories just during the game.

Fans also eat more than 1.25 billion chicken wings, the parts of the bird that 50 years ago used to be one of the least desirable parts.

Chicken wings were introduced at the Anchor Bar, a tavern-restaurant on Main Street in Buffalo, N.Y., a failing blue collar, rust bucket Great Lakes city described by some wags as “not the end of the world but one can see it from there.” It is a good place to be from.

Wings once were thrown into the  pot to make stock or simply discarded. Frank and Teresa, the Anchor Bar owners, deep fried wings one night to feed snowstorm-stranded patrons. Wings eventually found their way onto menus everywhere.

Superbowl Sunday’s wing binge required the slaughter of 312 million chickens, Salon.com calculates.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Buffalo’s factories manufactured products that were sold around the world. The world’s largest steel plant belched industrial smoke nearby. It used to be an amazing city on Lake Erie. Now, chicken wings and snow, lots of snow, define Buffalo. What a pity.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Article comment by: Al Marshall

You really can't help yourself, can you, despite resolutions to the contrary? You can't write an editorial about chicken wings without taking a gratuitous shot at a Republican politician. Even if you buy printer's ink by the barrel, you shouldn't be excused from confusing Schadenfreude with charity when you write for a newspaper that claims to be "the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland".

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