Sriracha Wings and Pizza: The Perfect Pairing

Tuesday Aug 9, 2016

Wings and pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, chocolate and peanut butter, French fries and ketchup, rock and roll I think you get the picture.

It began in the late '70s, and since that time, spicy wings have become a staple on pizzeria menus across the nation. Today, from fast-food joints to high-end restaurants, sriracha wings and pizza have become a thing. Made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar, sriracha sauce is a traditional Thai sauce that gives dishes just the right amount of spicy heat. Let's take a look at the popularity of spicy wings and how they came to be one of pizza's best friends.

It Ain't No Thing but a Chicken Wing

As of 50 years ago, chicken wings were considered a less-than-desirable cut of the chicken. They were thought of as a throwaway item, maybe used for stock, but usually tossed without thought into the trash.

Even though it happened less than 50 years ago, the invention of buffalo or spicy chicken wings is cloaked in mystery. Most agree, however, that the "buffalo" in the name refers to Buffalo, New York. According to one story, someone from Buffalo received a delivery of chicken wings instead of the necks they had ordered to use in making spaghetti sauce.

Rather than wasting the wings, this "someone" made a bar appetizer out of them, and the Buffalo chicken wing was born. Fast forward, and you can now order what Buffalonians refer to as merely "wings" in many restaurants across the country in flavors from mild to wild.

You Got Sriracha Wings Sauce on My Pizza

By the '70s, the popularity of spicy wings was surging across the nation, with some eateries specializing in just wings. In typical "everything old is new again" fashion, the pizza and wings combo went national in 1994. Pizza chains throughout the US began to add wings to their menus. It became impossible to order pizza without a side of the ubiquitous bar food. In addition, the hot, spicy buffalo sauce had gone beyond just wings, and can be found served with chicken fingers and on pizzas themselves.

As with any food trend, someone soon created a twist on traditional wings. The recent rise in popularity of sriracha sauce gives the traditional wing a kick of flavor, coated in heat with Thai-style chili sauce which makes mouths water.

This leaves us with the why of it. It's easy to see why pizza and sriracha wings are popular on their own, but how they came to be together may forever be a mystery. However, one thing is true for both, the preferred method of eating them is not with a knife and fork.