After the joy of the holidays, the next thing we have to look forward to is the SuperBowl! Whether you watch football or not, SuperBowl Sunday is an opportunity to kick back, relax and eat your favorite foods. And one of the top foods to eat on this day is the famous chicken wing. Even with 12.5 million pizzas, hundreds of millions of pounds of avocados, four times the normal amount of nachos and 325 million gallons of beer, the most iconic football food is the chicken wing. During SuperBowl weekend, Americans consume about 1.38 billion chicken wings. And it has been like this for decades. As you prepare for this year's SuperBowl, take a few minutes to learn about why chicken wings have become a staple on this day. You'll gain a new appreciation for this tender, flavorful protein!
Even though you've probably eaten chicken wings practically you're entire life, this is actually a newer phenomenon. It turns out these wings are less than 50 years old. Before the 1950s, chicken was very expensive and difficult to cook. You had to buy chickens whole, so beef and pork were more popular. In the 1950s, chicken farming became industrialized, making this meat more affordable. But Americans still weren't buying it. That's when the government stepped in and sought out alternative markets, such as by sending whole chickens to Europe. This didn't work out so well, so in the 1960s and 70s, the bird was able to be traded in bits and pieces. The white breast meat was widely preferred by Americans, while the dark meat was popular in countries like Mexico and China. Then one day, the Bellissimo family in Buffalo, NY started deep frying wings and coating them with hot sauce. The family began promoting this idea, and by the 1980s, buffalo chicken wings were on many bar menus across the country. So what's the link to football? The buffalo chicken wing got lots of coverage during the early 1990s when the Buffalo Bills played in the SuperBowl for four consecutive years. Today, chicken wings are a staple of the SuperBowl experience.
Now that SuperBowl is just around the corner, you can start planning your menu! Whether you choose to cook your own wings at home or order them from a chicken restaurant like La Rosa Chicken and Grill, you'll now have a new appreciation for this tender juicy meat.