Radley Balko takes a break from holding …

Radley Balko takes a break from holding the feet of abusive law enforcement to the fire to discuss something tastier:

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, 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.

Of course, that’s nothing new. But he goes on to talk about how chicken breasts are now cheaper per pound than wings, giving rise to the “boneless wing”, a chunk of breast meat cooked and sauced like a wing, but without any of the tooth-damaging inconvenience.

Of the places I know of around NC State, wings places are second only in number to pizza joints, handily surpassing the number of sub shops, burger joints, and Taco Bells. Around the start of the school year, the wings places usually leave fliers for ridiculous sales on your door. These sales are usually pretty good, including one last year that was a flat free $5 worth of wings, no minimum purchase. I take this as an indicator of the fierce competition in the collegiate wings market.

At any rate, through some of these promotional offers I’ve had some boneless wings and they’re pretty much chicken nuggets with sauce instead of batter. Which is to say, delicious. I had always assumed that boneless wings were in some way de-boned wings, but it turns out I was wrong.

It took many years of boned-wing tribulation to reach this point, but I, for one, welcome our new boneless overlords.

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