#WingWeek: How Should You Really Eat a Wing?

There are no wrong answers, but grip is KEY.

January 30, 2017 ● 2 min read

The next time you're in a sports bar, post up on the wall and watch the ways people demolish a heap of wings. Like, really watch. 

There are the nibblers, who daintily pinch off little shreds of meat, gripping either side of the wing with index and thumb, outer three fingers fanned out in an exaggerated A-ok! This approach typically has the opposite of the intended effect (neatness) and merely provides more opportunity for the sauce to work its way onto the face and surrounding napkins. These are also the people who pick the carcass with their hands, rather than teeth; poking out the inner muscle on flats, taking pleasure in stripping the larger chunks of meat from the elastic bits of cartilage before dunking it in their dip of choice. 

There are also those brave souls who would rather work out all the details from the dark confines of their mouth. This is often accompanied by a meditative inward glance; while the nibblers are more likely to squeeze conversation in between the eating of one wing, the one-biters are laser-focused on the matter at hand, holding tight to the end of the wing serving as anchor. For efficiency's sake, this is arguably the more measured approach — considering speed, the total volume of meat consumed, overall cleanliness — but the eating of wings is never just about the numbers. It's a signature as personal as a fingerprint; a special snowflake drenched in Buffalo sauce. 

During an average week at Wing Wings in San Francisco, Christian Ciscle serves thousands of individual drummies and flats to the masses. According to Greg Miller, his constant champion, wings may be the best food there is. "Every wing joint is different," he says. "They're all kinda the same, but then they deviate into new flavor country. You can do so much with wings, they go great with beer, and if your significant other can get down on a bunch of wings, he or she is a quality person."

Read up on how they choose to attack, then tune in this week for continued wisdom on sauce, heat, and more. 

Chef Christian Ciscle | Wing Master in Chief | Wing Wings, San Francisco, CA

I think I probably eat it in about four bites. Maybe five. One, two, end, and end. I don't have the patience to wait for them to get cool enough to do the whole thing in your mouth approach. I respect that technique, but it’s for speed and competitive style. I'll eat at least one wing every day, but if I actually order wings to sit down with and enjoy, that's like my vacation. So: there's no rush.

A lot of people here clean the bone — but then there are people who just eat two bites and leave piles of napkins.

Greg Miller | Wing Guru to The Internet | Wing Wings Enthusiast

Chicken wings are [...] everything that's right about this country. Wings were a part of the chicken no one wanted, so we said, "Fuck that: we'll make them delicious." 

How should you eat them? However you want. Freedom: that's what they're all about. Personally, I crush them. I don't stop eating them until the cartilage is gone and it's just bone. For the flats — the two-bone section — I shove them in my mouth and pull out clean bones. I am a monster.

What's your approach? Tag #WingWeek and @chefsfeed and SHOW US YOUR SKILLS.

As told to Cassandra Landry