This Is The Most Famous Food In New York

Count New York City among the great food destinations in America. Whether you go to Harlem for fried chicken, the Upper West Side for bagels, or Brooklyn for pizza, you're going to find some world-famous fare (via Eater New York). That doesn't mean the most famous food of all from New York state comes from the Big Apple. Speaking of apples, the rural parts of the state are so famous for them that the apple is the state fruit (via State Symbols USA). The Thousand Islands, home of the famous salad dressing, are all the way on the other side of the state. The town of Ithaca claims the first sundae ever made (via The New York Times).

Among all the candidates for New York state's most famous food, one rises above them all – and it's not a salad dressing. Thousand Island might be popular, but ranch is no. 1 (via Food Network). As for pizza, well, people in Chicago have their own idea about what famous looks like. The one New York food that has no competition, that's known and loved wherever you go, is the Buffalo chicken wing.

Americans eat tens of billions of chicken wings a year

Just as french fries in France are called "pommes frites," or fried potatoes, Buffalo wings in Buffalo, New York are just chicken wings. And as you might have guessed, the person who first thought of deep-frying chicken wings and covering them with a tangy sauce owned a bar in Buffalo. Wing lovers still make pilgrimages to the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of Buffalo wings (via Uncovering New York), but plates of wings can be ordered just about anywhere in the U.S. that serves beer or has an appetizer menu. 

In 2014, Americans consumed an estimated 28 billion wings (via National Chicken Council) – which, to be anatomically correct, was actually 14 billion chicken wings cut into smaller sections. Each actual wing, of course, makes two Buffalo wings – the big, juicy drumstick and that little part with two bones and less meat. Americans are particularly fond of eating chicken wings while watching sports, which explains why they consume more than 1 billion wings on Super Bowl Sunday alone, according to the National Chicken Council. It also explains all the TVs at Buffalo Wild Wings.

A mom invented Buffalo wings at 2 in the morning

Versions of the Buffalo wings origin story have been told often. We'll repeat the one that came straight from the source – or at least the Anchor Bar's marketing director (via Insider). Bar owner Teressa Bellissimo was in the establishment's kitchen late one night in 1964 when her son, a bartender there, showed up with his hungry friends. You're never too old to ask your mom to make you something to eat, and Teressa made do with what was available at 2 a.m.: chicken wings intended for soup stock. She threw the wings in a deep fryer and whipped up a sauce that drew from her Italian heritage. The rest, as they say, is history.

The first wing sauce ever made is still available at the Anchor Bar today. It's a relatively mild combination of cayenne pepper, vinegar, salt, garlic, margarine, and some secret ingredients. But your local Buffalo Wild Wings is probably more convenient. The chain restaurant found in every state is even kind of authentic, too. According to its website, BWW was started in Ohio by two guys from Buffalo who were craving their home state's most famous food.