There are five different stories about how Buffalo wings came to be. None of them are well substantiated:
- Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar along with her husband Frank. Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her hungry guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.
- There was a harsh snow storm in Buffalo. All the workers were gone, and the owners of the establishment were snowed in. While the wings of the chicken were normally thrown out, in order to keep from starving, Teressa deep fried chicken wings and served them as a dish.
- Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa’s son) told The New Yorker reporterCalvin Trillin in 1980: “It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again.” He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.
- There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar’sspaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.
- A man named John Young claims credit for serving chicken wings in a special “mambo sauce”. Chicken wings in mambo sauce became the specialty at his Buffalo restaurant in the mid-1960s. His wings were breaded. Young had registered the name of his restaurant, John Young’s Wings ‘n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving Buffalo in 1970.