The national chain Buffalo Wild Wings might tout the name, but every Western New Yorker knows authentic Buffalo wings must be served locally. We asked former Buffalonians what they miss the most about Buffalo and, no surprise, wings ranked in the top 10 responses.
Now, on National Chicken Wing Day, July 29, it's only right to share the best stories and quotes from ex-pats on the infamous Buffalo wings.
First, true wings must be served with blue cheese…and only blue cheese.
"It's painful to watch my kids order ranch with their wings," said David Carney, originally from the Town of Tonawanda and now a resident of Sioux City, Iowa.
Second, great wings must be celebrated and ranked properly. It's safe to say, when food is taken so seriously, feelings might get hurt. But we Buffalonians are not responsible for that.
Tom Strickland, originally from South Buffalo, said he used to take true Buffalo wings for granted.
"The first time I moved back to Buffalo…my mother asked me, 'What do you want me to cook for dinner?' I said, "Mom. No offense, but I don't want you to cook at all while I'm here," said Strickland, a current resident of Kissimmee, Fla.
He knew what he wanted – Mighty Taco, pizza, Jim's Steakout, Wegmans' subs and … wings.
Third, being away from real wings can be tough. Ex-pats try different coping mechanisms to deal with the withdrawal.
North Tonawanda native Carl Zak Kroliczyk tried out the idea that you can have too much of a good thing.
"The rest of the world calls them Buffalo chicken wings and never gets close to making them like Buffalonians do," he said.
Kroliczyk now lives in Germany and when he visits home, he first thing he does is eat chicken wings – on the way home from the airport. Then, he eats wings every day for at least a week to try and get sick of them. The goal is to not miss them so much but, according to Kroliczyk, it "never works out."
"I can never get sick of wings and I always have a strong craving for chicken wings when I leave that stays until my next visit," said the North Tonawanda native.
Wondering what else expatriates miss about Buffalo? Look for final results of our survey July 31.