Give Your Buffalo Sauce A Flavor Punch With A Bit Of Garlic

Legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie once smartly summated, "Left wing, right wing, chicken wing." The phrase was meant to be a playful minimization of politics. But, when it comes to the vast, fantastic, abundant realm of the seemingly-humble chicken wing, "minimal" is the opposite of what we had in mind. Every year, the average U.S. consumer enjoys around 300 wings, reports the New York Post. That's 50 orders of happy hour gochujang wings from Abe's Pagoda in Brooklyn, NY. In 2020, the National Chicken Council (yes, really) reported that U.S. foodies put away an estimated 1.4 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl LIV weekend. That's roughly 175 million pounds. At the time, it was a record-high 27 million more chicken wings than just one year earlier in 2019.

Indeed, there is an unmistakable affinity between chicken wings and football season. Whether you like to watch your favorite NFL team or kick back with a college football marathon, this buffalo sauce upgrade is about to make game day a lot more interesting. (During the off-season, it works for summer cookouts and winter potlucks, too.) Maybe you already have a go-to buffalo wing sauce, like this one by Tasting Table recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge. All it takes is four minutes and four ingredients. But, if we were going to add a fifth ingredient to an already-perfect classic buffalo sauce, it would be garlic powder. Here's why.

A small pinch of garlic powder makes a big difference

Buffalo sauce starts with a hot sauce base, per Allrecipes, then gets thickened by additional ingredients like umami-forward Worcestershire sauce, spicy cayenne powder, and acidic vinegar. Most sources seem to credit the original recipe to Anchor Bar in the namesake Buffalo, New York. The story goes that, on a fateful Friday night in 1964, a flock of then-bartender Dominic Bellissimo's friends showed up ravenous for a late-night snack. Bellissimo's mother, Teressa, was working in the kitchen, and the sauce she threw together emerged screaming into the world as the Buffalo sauce fans know and crave today.

All it takes to elevate classic buffalo sauce to the next level is whisking a pinch of garlic powder into the saucepan along with your other ingredients. That's it. Garlic powder contributes a sharp, savory punch to an already flavor-packed buffalo sauce — and several national restaurant chains have even caught on. Last year, Zaxby's added Buffalo Garlic Blaze sauce to its menu. Chick-fil-A's Zesty Buffalo Sauce lists garlic as a top ingredient. Buffalo Wild Wings offers a garlic buffalo sauce, and so does household name sauce purveyor Frank's RedHot. Your next dinner party buffalo chicken dip is about to get an unexpected facelift. When football season rolls around, get ready to enjoy a Seahawks-Giants game with a plate of chicken wings and a happy palate. For vegetarian foodies, that garlic buffalo sauce is perfect for dunking fried zucchini slices and cauliflower bites.