You may know that I have made a few commercials since living in Japan, but Marcia's and my fame lies in another direction. This story starts last year. Marcia and I frequent a cafe/bar called the Aussie Bar. They serve ostrich, crocodile, kangaroo, great salads, and various other items. They even offer Buffalo wings! (More on this later.) Although this place definitely has an Australian feel, it has been owned and managed for 20 years by a wonderful Japanese woman.
Having lived in East Aurora for many years and studied the fine art of the chicken wing at the Bar Bill University, we of course, consider ourselves experts on Buffalo wings. (For those of you not living in East Aurora, the Bar Bill is a local tavern that serves outstanding chicken wings.) So we decided to do some field research and try the wings at the Aussie Bar. As Bar Bill graduates, our discerning palates determined that these were not wings as we have come to know them. Although they were delicious, they just didn't have that Buffalo wing zing. On our next trip back to Buffalo, we decided to pick up a bottle of Anchor Bar wing sauce to give as a present to our friend, the owner of the Aussie Bar.
She was delighted with our present and that evening while Marcia and I were having dinner and beers at the Aussie Bar, we discussed with the owner, the invention of and the mystique of Buffalo wings including celery, carrots, and of course, bleu cheese dressing for dipping. A few weeks later on our next foray to the Aussie Bar, the owner invited us to a special tasting of her new Buffalo wings. We were flattered and of course said yes.
We showed up at 5:00 PM the following Sunday as arranged and quickly realized that this was a special tasting for just Marcia and me. We were presented with beer and four different recipe interpretations of Buffalo wings. We were solemnly asked to give our opinion of the various recipes. This was serious business! Finally a chance to use all of our Bar Bill wing education. With the chef and owner leaning over our shoulders we began. Using the beer to clear our palates, we held forth on some serious deliberations of the merits of each type of wing.
Wow! This one's a little too hot! This one is too saucy and doesn't have quite the right flavor. This is pretty close. If you made it a little spicier it would be good. She took our advice seriously and when we were finished, she made another plate of wings and asked us to pose for a picture. We went on our merry way having enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon, not to mention free beer and wings.
The next time we went to the Aussie Bar, we were greeted by the owner who told us that she had made new menus and would like to show us one. Well, to our great surprise, inside the menu on the same page with calamari, octopus and tomato herbal marinade, garlic prawns, radish sandwich with pickled ume and herb was a Buffalo Wing entry. There was a picture of Buffalo wings complete with carrots, celery, and bleu cheese. To our complete surprise next to this was a picture of Marcia and me holding a plate of wings! The picture even included an introduction.
The caption under the picture read, "Marcia-san & Gary-san"
マルシヤさんとぎゃり－夫妻 (Marushiya-san & Gyari-san fusai)
Marcia & Gary husband and wife
This was followed by a brief bio/introduction.
"Mr. & Mrs. Kimmel-Hurt, came from Buffalo City, N.Y. & love Anchor Bar's original buffalo-wings. We have made real tasting of Anchor's Buffalo-Wings as per their advising. Please try tastes of the birthplace's Buffalo-Wings."
We were delighted with our new-found celebrity. Marcia is much cooler than I am and takes her fame in stride. I, on the other hand, want to go around to every table and point out my picture. What's the point of being famous if no one knows about it? I don't do this, but it is tempting. Once, in a while the owner will introduce us to someone and show them our picture. So I guess I'll have to live with that.
The owner tells us that the wings have become very popular.
With the help of Buffalo wings, I think that Marcia and I have helped to bring the world a little closer together. World diplomacy one wing at a time.