Valentine’s Day—traditionally an opportunity to consume chocolate-covered strawberries, knock back a few glasses of champagne, and blog in the solitary embrace of one’s darkening bedroom—has lately begun inviting a new and most welcome guest to the party: chicken wings.
Or at least this is what a trend piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday has led me to believe. Specifically, chicken-wing bouquets are now a product being marketed to couples, though this dish could be renamed Single Person’s Delight and make even more sense. In short: I want one. (But if I receive a chicken wing bouquet in the mail on Valentine’s Day I will be extremely suspicious and scared.)
WSJ cites the testimony and data-gathering of several food purveyors and people with dates in its quest to describe this purported fad. Casey Callister, who co-owns Duffy’s Irish Pub in Washington D.C., told the WSJ, I believe with the intent of selling wings down the line, “Sharing a partially eaten wing is like sharing a toothbrush.”
Yes, there’s something undeniably sexy and intimate about chowing down on some saucy wings. Marivel Guerrero, who has a boyfriend and is preparing a chicken bouquet for Valentine’s dinner, told the WSJ, “When you’re eating wings you’re really getting to know that other person. Will they pick at them with their fingers? Will they dive in and eat right off the bone?” Will they maintain eye contact with you the entire time? Will they lose track of whose fingers are whose and begin licking indiscriminately?
Much of this nascent wing traffic is being generated by restaurants, too. The WSJ reports that restaurant orders for chicken wings are 14 percent higher on Valentine’s Day compared with other days of the month (except for Super Bowl Sunday, duh). This could be because more people eat out in general, but it should not be discounted that some are indulging in Buffalo Wild Wings’ “love at first bite” special, and it certainly cannot be mere coincidence that Applebee’s sells nearly twice its typical volume of wings on Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, Wingstop Inc., has sold 1,000 build-your-own chicken bouquet kits in the past three days.
As someone who is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the fading burn scar I sustained while cooking Valentine’s dinner for an ex, I will not be attempting one of these kits, however a no-effort, bow-garnished chicken wings concept appeals mightily.