Buffalo Sauce – the excellent sauce for fried wings
Where does Buffalo sauce come from?
Buffalo Sauce is a spicy sauce, originating (surprisingly enough) in Buffalo, New York state. The year was 1964 and the owner of the Anchor Bar, Teressa Bellissimo, had a gaggle of hungry children around her and very limited ingredients. So she did what the best chefs do – she got creative. She combined hot pepper sauce, garlic, salt and butter and fried off some chicken wings, then she tossed the wings in her combination and then refried them. The boys loved them and they were on the diner’s menu the next day.
How does Buffalo sauce tastes like?
Buffalo sauce is hot, sweet and sour. The addition of melted butter gives it a creamy buttery taste, a flavour profile not often found in hot sauce. The most traditional type of chilli in this type of sauce is cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers are widely used and are especially popular when dried and used as chilli powder or chilli flakes to add punch to recipes or sprinkle over the final dish. The Cayenne provides a decent level of heat, somewhere between 30k and 50k on the Scoville scale. They are a long, tapering pepper measuring 10 to 25 cm long, generally skinny, mostly red coloured peppers, often with a curved tip and somewhat rippled skin. They have a whole host of varieties such as the ‘cow horn’, ‘Joe’s long’ and ‘Cayenne Thomas Jefferson’.
Buffalo sauce wings – the US phenomenon
The popularity of Buffalo Sauce is really down to coincidence and timing. In 1977 the city of Buffalo declared that July 29th would be national wing day. Throughout the 1980’s buffalo wings became a staple in bars all over the USA. There were even specialist bars that opened up (most notably Hooters – which became famous for more than their wings), that showed sports, served beer and wings. Even chains like McDonalds and Burger King began to feature them on their menu. The apex was reached in 1995 when the Buffalo Bills football team played in the Superbowl final and to celebrate the fact both Dominos and McDonalds both added buffalo wings to their menus.
How you can use The Buffalo sauce?
Buffalo sauce can be used for glazing, dipping, cooking and marinating, it really is extremely versatile. Obviously, the most common use for Buffalo sauce is wings! Traditionally the wings are tossed in flour, herbs and spices, left to marinade before being deep fried then served with buffalo sauce. My recipe is a little lighter. Coat some wings in some melted butter and then dip them in a mixture of flour, oregano, chilli powder and salt. Next, whack them in an oven at around 180° for about 20 minutes. Once they are done, toss them in a combination of hot sauce (TheSauceMan Beetroot and Chipotle, or TheSauceMan Original Habanero works a treat) and honey and leave them for an hour. Next stick them back in the oven, this time for ten minutes at 200°. The wings will be a sweet, hot and crunchy… a cacophony of tastiness that’ll make your heart sing. The traditional garnish is still the best – some cooling celery and carrot sticks along with a blue cheese dip (crumbled Roquefort and mayonnaise) the perfect soothing side dish for this all American classic.