The Black American History of Buffalo Wings

As  the Super Bowl approaches, excitement builds not just for the game but for the quintessential game day fare—chicken wings. Yet, the history of this beloved snack is richer and more complex than many realize, intertwining with Black American culinary traditions and innovation.

Before Buffalo wings became synonymous with football, John Young, an Alabama transplant to Buffalo, was pioneering his own version of chicken wings. In 1961, he introduced wings coated in a special tomato-based Mumbo sauce, a deviation from the traditional preparation methods. This innovation not only marked a significant moment in culinary history but also highlighted the ingenuity within the Black American community.

John Young's contributions, though often overshadowed by the more widely known narrative of the Anchor Bar, were pivotal in bringing chicken wings to the forefront of American cuisine. His story is a testament to the impact of Black Americans on the nation's culinary landscape, blending Southern cooking techniques with the flavors of Buffalo.

Recognizing Young's legacy, especially during Black History Month, allows us to appreciate the depth and diversity of American food culture. It's a reminder of the countless contributions Black Americans have made, not just in the realm of food but across all aspects of society.

As we gather to watch the Super Bowl, let's also remember to celebrate the rich heritage and innovative spirit of Black American culinary pioneers like John Young. Their stories enrich our understanding of American culture and the foods we love.

Discover My Top Wing Recipes
- Uncle Dibbz

Leave a comment