THUNDER BAY – Heading into the Super Bowl, regardless of the teams playing one thing is certain. There will be tons of chicken wings eaten on Super Sunday.
Super Bowl Sunday is, according to the National Chicken Council, the second biggest eating day of the year after Thanksgiving.
From plain, to suicide hot, there are many ways people love their chicken wings.
According to the National Chicken Council’s 2015 Wing Report, 1.25 billion wings will be eaten during Super Bowl XLIX, as fans watch the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots battle for the Lombardi Trophy, matching the record tied last year when the Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos.
1.25 Billion Wings Set to Be Consumed
To put that into perspective, if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch back and forth from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts… almost 28 times. With the Super Bowl being played in Arizona, 1.25 billion wings would circle the Grand Canyon 120 times. That is enough wings to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums, according to the Council.
In terms of weight, 1.25 billion wings would weigh 5,955 times more than the weights of the Seahawks and Patriots entire 52-man rosters combined.
“Although the total amount of pounds of chicken produced last year rose by about 1.8 percent, the total number of chickens processed was virtually the same in 2014 as it was in 2013,” noted National Chicken Council Vice President of Communications Tom Super. “A chicken only has two wings; therefore, the supply of wings is limited by the total number of chickens produced.”
A Southern Tradition From Buffalo?
Deep-fried chicken wings have long been a staple of Southern cooking. But the concept of cooking wings in peppery hot sauce was born in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, when co-owner Teressa Bellissimo cooked leftover wings in hot sauce as a late-night snack for her son and his friends. The guys liked them so much that the Bellissimos put them on the menu the next day. Served with celery slices and bleu cheese sauce, “Buffalo Wings” were an instant hit.
Dick Winger, who sold hot sauce to the bar, went on the road with Dominic Bellissimo, the owners’ son, to promote the item and sell hot sauce, and the item gradually caught on with restaurant operators around the country. The concept hit the big time in 1990, when McDonald’s began selling Mighty Wings at some of its restaurants. KFC rolled out Hot Wings a year later, and Domino’s Pizza introduced its own wings in 1994. They’ve remained hot ever since. McDonald’s was back in the wing business last year, and its Mighty Wings will be featured nationwide at most restaurants through the first quarter of 2014.
The average price (wholesale, not retail) of whole wings is currently $1.71/lb, up from $1.35/lb at the same time last year, according to the Daily Northeast Broiler/Fryer Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service. This is down significantly from when wing prices hit a record high of $2.11/lb in January, 2013.