I spent most of my life living just outside of Buffalo, New York. Buffalo is not known for a lot of things; we have a poor job market, crappy weather, and sports teams that can’t seem to win a championship. There is one thing we are known for, and that’s fabulous food! Since I now live in Pennsylvania, I thought it would be great to throw a Buffalo themed party, and expose some of my friends who aren’t from the Buffalo area to some traditional food from the one of my favorite cities. Our menu included:
Baked Buffalo Wings - or just “wings” if you’re a Buffalonian, are obviously our biggest claim to fame. Wings were first created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo in 1964, and from there, they’ve grown in popularity and are now served around the world. Tossed in hot sauce and served with a side of blue cheese and crisp celery, wings are a staple at any Buffalo tailgate party.
Beef on Weck - Buffalo’s most famous sandwich. Roast beef, thinly sliced and dipped in au jus, then piled high on a kummelweck roll. Just what is a kummelweck roll? Basically, it’s a kaiser roll topped with coarse salt and caraway seeds. Legend has it that a bar owner added the salt to the roll to encourage his patrons to buy more beer. Beef on weck is so popular that you are bound to find it at almost every high school graduation party in Western New York.
Buffalo Chicken Dip – I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t like buffalo chicken dip. Although it is not necessarily a Buffalo born recipe, it is derived off of the Buffalo wing, and therefore loved by all Buffalonians. I made the dish even more festive by making homemade tortilla chips in the shape of a buffalo.
Pastry Hearts – Stop in to any bakery in the city and you’ll find rows and rows of flaky, buttery pastry hearts. Essentially pastry hearts are puff pastry dough, tossed in cinnamon sugar and folded and cut into hearts. After they bake, they are topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze. While they are abundant in Buffalo, you’ll be hard pressed to find pastry hearts outside of the city.
Sponge Candy - Buffalo’s legendary candy! Sponge candy has a crispy, honeycomb center that melts in your mouth, which is drenched in smooth milk chocolate. The most popular place to get sponge candy is Watson’s, although it is a lot of fun to make your own. Sponge candy is also hard to find outside of the western New York area, which explains why many of my friends take bags and bags of sponge candy with them when visiting out-of-state relatives.
Stay tuned…I’ll be posting these recipes in the next few weeks