Perfect sized to eat with your hands, packed with flavor, and ideal to be consumed while watching sporting events, Chicken Wings have a relatively short history when compared to some of the other pop culture foods in the United States. This month we focus on where this game day staple comes from, how it became so popular, and some of the little-known history behind Chicken Wings.

Deep-fried chicken wings have been a critical part of Southern cooking. One could argue that Southern-fried foods have set a standard across the country. People from all over know about and love Southern-fried foods. For a great example, check out our sister restaurant, Bubba’s Fish Shack, for the Southern-fried seafood, the way it was meant to be served!

Back to the topic, fried chicken has been a popular part of American foods for decades. But it wasn’t until 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, that Teressa Bellissimo cooked some leftover wings tossed in hot sauce for her son and his friends. Bellissimo had no idea what she was creating, but since her son and friends enjoyed them so much, she added them to the menu the following day. “Buffalo Wings” became an instant hit!

The sauce found on wings has just as much to do with the popularity as the wing itself. Dick Winger, who sold hot sauce to the bar, went on a tour to promote this new item and sell more of his hot sauce. It gradually caught on with restaurant operators around the country. They exploded in popularity when McDonald’s started selling them in 1990. A year later, KFC rolled out its own Hot Wings.

The rise of chicken wings can contribute the surge in demand to lucky timing. While the bold flavors and ease of consumption helped the process, a change in how the chicken was consumed helped them along. Cooking the whole bird was the trendy approach in the 1960s and 1970s, but as people started to prefer eating boneless and skinless breast meat, chicken producers faced the dilemma of what to do with the leftover wings. They became an inexpensive by-product of the market. Restaurants and bars quickly capitalized on this product. Conveniently, at the same time, football was becoming popular to watch with friends at bars thanks to the rapid improvement in TV technology. Wings were cheap, easy to eat, and easy to share; they taste great and taste even better with a good beer.

At Ultimate California Pizza, we know that people like wings because they are fun to eat, great to share, and taste amazing….. Just like pizza! So it makes sense for them to be on our menu. Order our JUMBO oven-baked Traditional or Boneless wings in quantities of 10. They are served with celery and a choice of homemade ranch or bleu cheese. Your sauce choices are mild, hot, garlic parmesan, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ, teriyaki, mango habanero, sweet Thai chile, and Jamaican jerk. These wings will satisfy your wings cravings, your hunger, and your taste buds!

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Did you know that Ultimate California Pizza is part of the Divine Dining Group family of restaurants? Check out our sister restaurants, view our open staff positions, and/or purchase gift cards for your next visit here:


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