evolution, vestigial structures, and buffalo wing hunters

IF BUFFLAO WINGS WEREN’T SO DAMN SMALL that you can put a dozen of them into a basket in any bar in the country, whole herds could have escaped slaughter at the hands of the white man during the 19th century by simply flying away! Except, of course, American buffalo aren’t buffalo at all, they are bison (Bison bison).

So, is there a movement afoot to rename the popular tavern appetizer “bison wings”? Hell no!

Why not? Because Buffalo (always with a capital ‘B’) wings have nothing too do with bison!

So what does this article have to do with evolution and vestigial structures?

Legendarily, this popular plate were first prepared in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo. However, in 1969 a local paper published a lengthy article on the Anchor and made no mention of Buffalo wings!

A less frequently recounted origin is that John Young served his special “mambo sauce” chicken wings at his restaurant in Buffalo. This also supposedly occurred in the mid-‘60s and also cannot be verified


AnchorBar

Yet another fine East Coast bar diminished in presence and ambience by the intrusion of of what Harlan Ellison famously called the “Glass Teat.”

So what does this have to do with evolution and vestigial structures? Nothing! It’s just an extended joke—the whole first paragraph above popped into my head when Berni told me that she had complimented a woman on her bison tee-shirt yesterday, and the woman complimented her in return by saying that Berni was the only person that knew that it was a bison, not a buffalo . . .


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HEADER IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of William Strunk Jr, author of The Elements Of Style (1919). His original volume of fifty-three pages was revised and expanded by one of his students, the famous children’s book author E.B. White in 1959. It is one of the best selling and most influential books of it type. One of the categories of this site is named for the two authors: “Strunkandwhiten It!” For more information, refer to “On William Strunk and Elements of Style.”


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