Because of some stubborn genes from my father and my mother’s mother that converged upon my poor soul, I really, really, really do not like to admit that I am not always right. But seeing as that I am still attempting to climb the mountain that is maturity, I’m gathering strength to say those deeply challenging words: I was wrong.
This story is, of course, totally based on chicken wings and today while I was contemplating sauce options and comparing wings from a variety of restaurants, I felt this little bit of hollow inside me that was not the hunger pangs. It was my pride, reminiscing the awful things I used to say about those delicious tiny bits of meat.
My long ago theory, which I freely shared with anyone who would listen, was that chicken wings were essentially the garbage part of the chicken. “There’s like, no meat,” I would argue, carnivore that I am. My thought was that some brilliant person many years ago figured out a way to capitalize on this seemingly worthless part of the bird by deep frying it, covering it in sauce, and serving it to drunk people at bars. “They won’t even care about the quality of the food they eat,” I said. I stood behind this theory for quite awhile. Longer than I’d like to admit.
But there’s another part of this story. I had never actually eaten a decent chicken wing before. You know, the kind with just the right amount of sauce and crispy enough skin that when you bite into it, a tiny trickle of liquid fat squirts out and rolls down your chin and mixes with the tangy zip of buffalo that has already been smeared across your face. I had never even given them a try. I suppose I thought I was too good for the lowly chicken wing, and yet there I was, forming strong opinions.
This is where I declare myself a complete fool.
I don’t remember when I first tasted one of those bits of garbage meat, as I once called them. I don’t remember if biting into them caused a glow of light around my head or if suddenly my world got a little brighter. But boy, am I glad I gave them a try and I’m woman enough to say, with greasy fingers waving a white wet nap in the air, I was wrong.
The lessons learned are many. For one, strong opinions best follow first hand, real life experience. I’m not sure why, but people really like to say strong things without actually knowing anything about the topic. If you don’t believe me, turn on any news source during an election year and wait for your issue of choice.
The second lesson is, naturally, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
The hotter the better.
Originally written 8.14.16