February 10, 2023

The Kentridge Senior Living Cheer on the Teams While Enjoying Favorite Super Bowl Snacks

Category: Senior Living

Author: William Verna, Culinary Director

It all started on January 15, 1967, when the Kansas City Chiefs from the American Football League played the Green Bay Packers from the National Football League. Until this point, the two leagues were separated and considered rivals. They competed for fans and players and didn’t care for each other much. In 1966, the decision was made to merge by 1970, and in 1967 the first Super Bowl was played. It wasn’t until after the game that Chiefs owner, Lamar Hunt, came up with the term “Super Bowl.”

With the invention of the wooden-sided station wagon in 1930 came along a rear folding tailgate. Fans drove the station wagon to college football games, using the tailgate as a picnic table of sorts, and tailgating was born. Once portable grills and coolers were invented in the 1950s, tailgating took on a whole new vibe. Cold beer and ribs replaced sandwiches and red wine. Then, in the 1970s, the car culture took hold and stadiums were relocated out of inner cities to the suburbs where there was ample parking, and the tailgating experience that we know today was cemented into our culture.

In honor of Super Bowl LVII, the culinary team here at The Kentridge Senior Living will be celebrating the big day with wings, pizza, beer cheese soup, chips, pretzels, and dips. As Culinary Director I’ve prepared a lot of different items, but my favorite Super Bowl snacks are Japanese style chicken wings.

My favorite recipe is to brine the wings overnight in a 1.5% salt solution. The next day, I drain and bake off slowly and low until cooked through. Then the wings are placed into the refrigerator to chill. Deep fry them as you are ready, then toss the wings in my favorite sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions.

Sauce recipe: One two-liter of cola, two cups light Japanese soy sauce, 1/2 cup mirin, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup rendered bacon fat (smoked pork fat), one tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, one tbsp. minced garlic, and one tbsp. minced fresh ginger. Combine all, reduce by 1/4th to1/3rd and thicken slightly with cornstarch or arrowroot slurry, which is a key ingredient in achieving the viscosity you need for the sauce to perfectly coat the wing, toss, and enjoy!

If I had to guess, I would say most people have usually eaten chicken wings out of necessity and for monetary purposes to ensure that no food or part of the bird went wasted. However, cooking them in a fryer and tossing them in a spicy sauce was something that didn’t become popular until the 60’s in Buffalo New York, hence their namesake, Buffalo wings. It was in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo one late night when co-owner Teressa Bellissimo prepared leftover wings by frying them in a pan and tossing them in a peppery hot sauce to feed to her son as a late-night snack. He and his friends that tried the chicken loved them so much the Bellissimos put the chicken wings on the menu the very next day and served them with their now classic accompaniments, sliced celery and blue cheese dressing.

As these wings were catching on, the trend of cooking the whole bird started to decline. American consumers started to prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This trend allowed for restaurants and bars to purchase the wings at a much lower price and serve them as an affordable, easily shareable snack. Soon sales would skyrocket, to be expected, beer sales would skyrocket as well, creating a wonderful situation for bar owners. Every football season since then, customers and fans have enjoyed the popular pairing while watching their teams battle on the gridiron. Eventually wings became so popular they were no longer limited to pubs but are seen everywhere as a perfect spicy or tangy snack!

If you’re in the area, stop by to celebrate the big game with us! And if you can’t make it, check out our social media pages to see the great snacks we made and the awesome time we had watching the game!

The KentRidge Senior Living in Kent, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near University Hospital Portage Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Sunny Hill Golf & Recreation Inc, Stow-Kent Shopping Center, Kent State Univeristy Museum, The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, and Mad Cap Brewing Company.

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