BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Queen City is full of memorable cuisine, but none is more synonymous with the city than the chicken wing.
Marc Moscato, owner of Buffalo Bike Tours and sometimes known on rides as “Tour Guide Marc”, called chicken wings a “mystical and fabled” dish.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding around the origin of the chicken wing,” he added.
Moscato is teaming up with the Buffalo History Museum on Wednesday for a virtual lecture called “Hot Takes: A Hidden History of Chicken Wings”. The free event is taking place on Zoom from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The panelists include Moscato, the museum’s Director of Library and Archives Cynthia Van Ness, Lina Brown Young, daughter of John Young, the creator of Buffalo’s iconic “Mumbo wings”, and food writer Arthur Bovino.
Moscato delved into “chicken wing history” for his Wing Ride tour, which takes guests via bike to historic places in Buffalo’s wing scene.
“It’s funny to think about- wings have grown from a regional delicacy in the 1970s to an international phenomenon- anywhere you go in the world, people know about Buffalo wings,” Moscato said.
Most of Moscato’s tourists from outside WNY don’t know about local history like the Erie Canal and the Pan-American Exposition, but they all know about chicken wings.
“I’ve only ever had one family who didn’t know about chicken wings- they were from Norway,” Moscato chuckled.
Buffalo-style chicken wings gained popularity in the early 1990s, when the Bills were in four back-to-back Superbowls, Moscato said.
“Buffalo got a tremendous amount of media publicity,” Moscato said. “They’d show the landscape and Bills fans eating chicken wings [on national TV].
The Buffalo History Museum has menus offering chicken wings that date back to the 1850s, and the oldest known chicken wing recipe dates back to the Tang Dynasty in China, circa 750 AD.
The “Hot Takes” event also includes a pop-up takeout event on Monday, where you can order some of the wings discussed in the presentation.
Lina Brown Young will be offering the original “Mumbo Wings”, which have been unavailable for the past 23 years (unless you took The Wing Ride).
Moscato’s wife’s catering company “Tiny Thai” will be making the “Imperial Consort Wings” that originate to the Tang Dynasty, and Southern Junction will be offering Pizza Kolache and Smokey Tikka Logs.
Orders are pre-sale and to-go only. Pickup is Monday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Southern Junction, 27 Chandler St., and pickup times will be assigned at checkout.
The orders serve two, and are $30.