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 to do with bison!
Legendarily, this popular plate was 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.
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 …