Ever wonder why they’re called Buffalo Wings?

Since this past September I’ve been teaching a college student some of my cooking secrets. Yesterday when she arrived I informed her that we were going to have Cobb Salad. Which she had never heard of before. She looked at me a bit quizzically and asked, “Does it have corn in it?” It made me laugh, but then I realized that while IΒ wasΒ aware that Cobb Salad isn’t related to corn on the cob, I actually had no idea why it’s called Cobb Salad. Turns out, it was named after the man who created it, Robert Cobb. So there is a random trivia fact for you. πŸ˜‰

But it got me thinking as I prepared to write this blog post about my favorite Buffalo Wing recipe that I’ve never stopped to wonder why they are called “Buffalo” wings. A quick Google search informed me that they were created in Buffalo, NY. Which naturally has me wanting to travel to Buffalo to eat realΒ Buffalo wings. Plus it’s right by Niagara Falls and one of these days I plan to go there. I’m thinking this is going on the travel list! πŸ™‚ But until I make it back to New York, I’ll just enjoy these scrumptious homemade baked Buffalo wings.

Buffalo Chicken Wings.jpg

Baked Buffalo Wings


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce
1 tsp garlic
Dash ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
10 chicken pieces (wings or drumsticks)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.Β In a small bowl mix together flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Dredge chicken wings in flour mixture and place in a single layer in a glass dish. Cover dish and refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and mix in hot sauce, pepper, and garlic. Stir together and heat until mixture is blended. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with cooking spray.Β Remove wings from glass pan and dip in hot sauce. Lay wings on baking sheet 1/2″ apart. Bake 45 minutes.

5. Remove wings from oven, spritz with a little cooking spray and return to the oven on broil for 1-2 minutes or until skin is crispy.

Buffalo Chicken Thighs.jpg
Since wings are so messy, I like to use drumsticks as well. They are still messy to eat, but a little easier to handle and still just as delicious! YUM!

So this post has me thinking… naming food must be kind of difficult. Either you just detail the ingredients in the name or you have to come up with something new. So I can understand using your own name or where you live as a starting point. If I were to create a totally new recipeΒ would I use my last name or my city? Or neither? Vendetti Salad just sounds weird. Memphis wings exist already. Hmm… this will definitely take some thought. What about you? If you created a food, would you name it after yourself or your city or something else entirely?

Love Rach


41 responses to “Ever wonder why they’re called Buffalo Wings?

  1. yummy… you cant go wrong with some good wings πŸ™‚

  2. Haha! I love the info about the origins of the names of Cobb salad and Buffalo wings. Great trivia.

    And I’ll definitely try out your Buffalo wings recipe. Those sound tasty.

    That’s really cool that you’ve been teaching a college student some of your tried and true recipes and giving cooking advice.

    • It’s funny to me how we never even question why things are called what they are. I’ve just always heard of Buffalo wings and Cobb salad… It only sounds weird when someone hasn’t heard of it before. I remember this happening a lot in China. I’m sure you experienced it there as well. You don’t realize how weird the language you grew up with is until someone asks questions. Or at least I don’t. πŸ˜‰

      I have loved teaching her! She has a pretty good base knowledge already, but I enjoy showing her little tips to band life easier. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you end up trying these!

  3. hmmm i have no idea what i would name a food!

    fun fact (not really a fact) i had no idea buffalo were real. i thought it was a sauce. when i found out they are real, i was very confused re: the sauce and how that animal has wings, but of course it doesn’t have wings but it’s all very confusing.

    • Ha! I love this! Can you imagine buffalo with wings?! Flying buffalo! I can totally understand not knowing about buffalo. Especially since you didn’t grow up in the States hearing about immigrants (aka all the Europeans) killing off all the buffalo. That always makes me sad. There’s a place here in Memphis that has a bunch of free roaming buffalo and I love to go see if I can spot them meandering about. πŸ™‚

  4. I read this title and was like no, I have never wondered, but now I am! So glad the mystery is solved. And the little tidbit about the Cobb salad is fun to learn, too!

  5. Ha, I didn’t realize the name came from Buffalo, NY! Makes sense now. πŸ˜‰ And yay, love that these are baked!


  6. I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED!!!!! We don’t want to confuse kids even MORE about nutrition/food! ha ha ha!

  7. Ok I have always wondered about this! I had no idea they were from Buffalo, NY. Learn something new everyday! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I may have to stop by the store on the way home to pick up some chicken. These look so yummy!!

  9. I actually knew this fact, because I looked it up several years ago lol! Where would we be without Google?? Your wings looks so good! So I insist that you must visit Niagara Falls!! I haven’t been since a kid, but it is a view I will never forget. I got to see it on both the NY and Canada side. The Canada side is much better! If you are going to go, you gotta do it right πŸ™‚

  10. I actually did know this and completely forgot about it until reading this – such a fun fact!

  11. I am a little bit obsessed with Frank’s Buffalo Sauce. I am putting that stuff on everything at the moment.

  12. Yum! Its morning and these shouldn’t look this good. ha

  13. We ate some real buffalo wings in Buffalo on our way to Niagara Falls a couple of years ago! So I can recommend La Nova on West Ferry Street whenever you go there (which was recommended to us by our friend who is a Buffalo native). πŸ™‚ But your wings look delicious! On Feb 11, 2016 9:53 AM, “WordPress.com” wrote:

    > Rach @ This Italian Family posted: “Since this past September I’ve been > teaching a college student some of my cooking secrets. Yesterday when she > arrived I informed her that we were going to have Cobb Salad. Which she had > never heard of before. She looked at me a bit quizzically and asked, ” >

  14. These look soo good! I love that they’re baked, I’m going to try them out ASAP!

  15. I didn’t know that about Cobb Salad or Buffalo Wings, either. Makes sense! The most ‘unique’ food name we’ve ever come up with is “Pasta la Vista” (obviously taken from “Hasta la Vista”) and it’s basically lasagna only made with spaghetti noodles. I don’t like it but my family makes it regularly and we didn’t know what to call it until a decade ago one of the kids called it Pasta la Vista and it’s been that ever since.

  16. Haha. These food thoughts had never once crossed my mind, but I am glad to know now the origin of Cobb salad and Buffalo wings. πŸ˜‰ Now I need some wings…can you believe I’ve never made my own Buffalo wings?

  17. I knew the buffalo wing trivia, but I had no clue about cobb salads! How interesting! Niagara Falls is gorgeous!! A great photography spot :). Also, your buffalo wings sound like perfection!

  18. I LOVE random trivia!!!! And this looks soooo yummy (for people that like buffalo)! πŸ™‚

    My friend Rachael recently got my brother hooked on Buffalo popcorn. Would you be interested in her recipe??? I think I shared it on FB, but if you missed it, I can send it your way!!!

  19. I love cooking wings when I make pizza! So fun trying out new recipes!!

  20. Pingback: The Delightful Cobb Salad |

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