There are people who think sauce is at best a condiment when it comes to chicken wings. Or worse, masking the earthy sweetness of the dark meat lollipops we call chicken thighs.
This is not the way of the Buffalo sauce fan. If you believe that chicken is merely the ideal vehicle for the spicy mana that is Buffalo sauce, and you can commune with 70,000 others of your tribe this weekend at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
The pilgrimage is happening in the town where it all began: Buffalo, New York. The event is not limited to professionals. As a humble condiment — the base is fat and hot sauce — it invites experimentation, and the festival judges specifically pick a Best New Product.
To properly judge the Festival Favorite, you’ll have to do it right and taste your way across the more than 100 varieties, or a whole bunch at once in the five various eating competitions (though it’s Nathan’s hot dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut standing in your way).
Good luck out there, friends, and don’t forget the milk.
National Buffalo Wing Festival
Sept. 5 & 6
Coca Cola Field, 275 Washington St.
Buffalo, New York