#WingWeek: You Saucy Thing

#WingWeek: You Saucy Thing

Ranch vs. blue, Frank's vs. everything else.

January 30, 2017

On Sunday, there is something happening called the “Super Bowl,” but as far as we’re concerned, that means it’s #WingWeek. Tune in every day this week for a different tidbit of wing wisdom from none other than Wing Wing’s Christian Ciscle and his number one fan and wing analyst Greg Miller. 

Six years after his father's death, Jacob Frank decided the life of a traveling salesman — schlepping the booze and medicinals that built the family business — kinda sucked. 


Instead, he thought, he'd play his hand on spices, ground and packaged into small, shelf-size servings to fuel the insane stampede of personalized consumerism taking over the nation. He roped in his brother to help, and together they set up shop on the banks of the Ohio River. 

That was in 1896, and Frank Tea and Spice Company did pretty well for itself for the first few years (not counting the minor snafu when they were slapped with a lawsuit for hawking lemon extract that had no, uh, discernable lemon in it) — but it wasn't until Frank crossed paths with a Louisana pepper farmer named Adam Estilette that things really began to take off. That was in 1918. History is a little murky on the details of how the next bit went down, but either way, two years later, Frank shipped out the results of the star-crossed collaboration: an addictive blend of spices, vinegar, garlic, and Estilette's cayenne peppers that you could put on anything.  

The masses went batshit for Frank's RedHot Sauce, and the fury kept up for four solid decades before making history again as the cornerstone ingredient of Teressa Bellissimo's now-infamous wing sauce at Buffalo, New York's Anchor Bar. And now, because we are animals who really do put that shit on everything, their portfolio looks like this: 

  • Frank's Original RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot XTRA Hot Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Buffalo Sandwich Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Chile n Lime Hot Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Kickin' BBQ Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Caesar Spicer
  • Frank's RedHot Gold Fever Zing Sauce 
  • Frank's RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Thick Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Slammin' Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Rajili Sweet Ginger Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Spicy Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • Frank's RedHot Stingin' Honey Garlic Sauce

WHAT.

The only question we have now is whether the ghost of Jacob Frank rides for ranch or blue cheese. Gonna say ranch? 


CHEF CHRISTIAN CISCLE | WING MASTER IN CHIEF | WING WINGS, SAN FRANCISCO, CA


Everyone who comes in is an expert. Everyone's a wing connoisseur. Half of them are from Buffalo of course. "I'm from Buffalo, so..." There's only one Buffalo sauce: it's hot sauce and vinegar and butter and garlic. Our base is Frank's, because that's what you make Buffalo sauce with. Originally, I wanted to make our own — but to even try to create it yourself is a waste of fucking time.

A wing should be able to stand alone, but everyone likes a freaking dip. I love Buffalo with blue cheese, because it's classic, but I like ranch, too. I'm not a snob about whether it was homemade or not, but I love ours. It's the balance; it's got those fresh herbs to balance the salty and spicy. 

I'd say thirty percent of people order dry rub wings or wings with no sauce. The other thirty order Buffalo wings, no questions. The others don't even look at the menu and just ask for Wing Stop flavors like Cajun or lemon pepper. 


GREG MILLER | WING GURU TO THE INTERNET | WING WINGS ENTHUSIAST


At one time, I would scoff when asked if I wanted [ranch], but now, I welcome it. I love a good Sweet Baby Ray's wing sauce or Frank's. While their wing size is questionable, no one can argue that Buffalo Wild Wings has a winner in the Spicy Garlic sauce. 



Which sauce do you swear by? Tell us with #WingWeek at @chefsfeed. 



As told to Cassandra Landry

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