I may be one of few remaining Americans with an abiding interest in chicken wings, but no interest at all in the Super Bowl. However, the saucy and succulent treat has become so identified with this annual tussle that NPR’s blog The Salt reports that 1.3 billion wings will be consumed this weekend, or (as they so conveniently calculate it) enough to “stretch from Candlestick Park in San Francisco to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore 27 times.” That’s a lot of bird. I wonder how many Olympic-size swimming pools full of blue cheese dressing that takes?
The post also comes with an infographic, showing the Super Bowl Sunday spike in wing consumption compared to the rest of the year. My favorite Super Bowl infographic came out a couple years ago, when a municipal water plant manager was able to chart the timing of commercial breaks during the game by the spikes in flow in the city’s water and sewer systems.
But getting back to wings, their preeminence has lead other snack-meat purveyors to respond with jealous zeal. Taco Bell has tried to promote tacos as a replacement for the increasingly expensive bird limbs, and NPR elsewhere in its sport/food coverage suggests “folding empanadas into your Super Bowl spread.” So far, no substitute has gotten past the 50-yard line.
The wing crowd divides itself into two natural categories–probably determined by kitchen size and culinary skill–take-outers and do-it-yourselfers. For the latter, here are some recipes from allrecipes.com. Get back to me with your reviews. For the take-out crowd–who makes them best? Details please. And if you have the nerve to prefer other fare for the game buffet table, let us know what else goes down well with vicarious gridiron combat.