The Reason So Many Pizza Chains Sell Chicken Wings

iStock/rudisill
iStock/rudisill

It’s become exceedingly rare to find a pizzeria that doesn’t offer its customers a side order of sauce-slathered buffalo chicken wings. Most of the major national chains—Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s among them—traffic in poultry. So how did the pairing come about?

According to a recent Thrillist history by Kat Thompson, the marriage of pizza and wings can be traced to La Nova Pizza, a pizza parlor in Buffalo, New York. Fittingly, La Nova was located in the home city of the buffalo chicken wing, where the Anchor Bar and Restaurant first served the wings—formerly regarded as undesirable scraps—in the 1960s. La Nova began adding wings to its menu in the 1970s and then offered them as a side dish to delivery orders in the 1990s.

The bigger chains took notice of its success: Both Pizza Hut and Domino’s introduced wings nationally in early 1995. Their support created such demand for the product that the price of wholesale wings went from 47 cents a pound to 82 cents a pound. Pizza Hut was selling 2 million wings a day.

For operators, the addition made a lot of logistical sense. Wings could be baked in ovens that the shops already had; dipping sauces complemented pizza crusts nicely. Pizza is largely a carbohydrate and wings are a protein. It seemed to resonate with the palates of consumers. To open a new pizzeria usually required no special equipment besides a freezer and some deep fryers. Most importantly, they were a messy finger food, and pizza fans were already comfortable with hand-based eating.

But wings won't work on every menu. In 2013, McDonald’s tried offering chicken wings, which it dubbed Mighty Wings, for a limited time, but the idea fizzled. People didn’t care for a hamburger and wing combo. Of the 50 million pounds of wings McDonald’s hoped to sell, 10 million were left uneaten. It might have gone better with a McPizza.

[h/t Thrillist]

The Reason Why 'Doritos Breath' Stopped Being a Problem

iStock/FotografiaBasica
iStock/FotografiaBasica

In the 1960s, Frito-Lay marketing executive Arch West returned from a family vacation in California singing the praises of toasted tortillas he had sampled at a roadside stop. In 1972, his discovery morphed into Doritos, a plain, crispy tortilla chip that was sprinkled with powdered gold in the form of nacho cheese flavoring.

Doritos enthusiasts were soon identifiable by the bright orange cheese coating that covered their fingers. But there was another giveaway that they had been snacking: a garlic-laden, oppressive odor emanating from their mouths. The socially stigmatizing condition became known as "Doritos breath." And while the snack still packs a potent post-mastication smell, it’s not nearly as severe as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. So what happened?

Like most consumer product companies, Frito-Lay regularly solicits the opinions of focus groups on how to improve their products. The company spent more than a decade compiling requests, which eventually boiled down to two recurring issues: Doritos fans wanted a cheesier taste, and they also wanted their breath to stop wilting flowers.

The latter complaint was not considered a pressing issue. Despite their pungent nature, Doritos were a $1.3 billion brand in the early 1990s, so clearly people were willing to risk interpersonal relationships after inhaling a bag. But in the course of formulating a cheesier taste—which the company eventually dubbed Nacho Cheesier Doritos—they found that it altered the impact of the garlic powder used in making the chip. Infused with the savory taste known as umami, the garlic powder was what gave Doritos their lingering stink. Tinkering with the garlic flavoring had the unintended—but very happy—consequence of significantly reducing the smell.

“It was not an objective at all,” Stephen Liguori, then-vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay, told the Associated Press in April 1992. “It turned out to be a pleasant side effect of the new and improved seasoning.”

Frito-Lay offered snack-sized bags of the new flavor and enlisted former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman to promote it. Ever since, complaints of the scent of Doritos wafting from the maws of co-workers have been significantly reduced, and the Nacho Cheesier variation has remained the Doritos flavor of choice among consumers.

When Arch West died in 2011 at the age of 97, his family decided to sprinkle Doritos in his grave. They were plain. Not because of the smell, but because his daughter, Jana Hacker, believed that mourners wouldn’t want nacho cheese powder on their fingers.

Recall Alert: King Arthur Flour Sold at Aldi and Walmart Recalled Due to E. Coli Concerns

iStock/KenWiedemann
iStock/KenWiedemann

A new item has been pulled from supermarket shelves in light of an E. coli outbreak, NBC 12 reports. This time, the product being recalled is King Arthur flour, a popular brand sold at Aldi, Walmart, Target, and other stores nationwide.

The voluntarily product recall, announced by King Arthur Flour, Inc. and the FDA on Thursday, June 13, affects roughly 114,000 bags of unbleached all-purpose flour. The flour is made from wheat from the ADM Milling Company, which has been linked to an ongoing E. coli outbreak in the U.S. Though none of the cases reported so far have been traced back to King Arthur flour, the product is being taken off the market as a precaution.

Five-pound bags of unbleached all-purpose flour from specific lot codes and use-by dates are the only King Arthur products impacted by the recall. If you find King Arthur flour in the grocery store or in your pantry at home, check for this dates and numbers below the nutrition facts to see if it's been recalled.

Best used by 12/07/19 Lot: L18A07C
Best used by 12/08/19 Lots: L18A08A, L18A08B
Best used by 12/14/19 Lots: L18A14A, L18A14B, L18A14C

E. coli contamination is always a risk with flour, which is why raw cookie dough is still unsafe to eat even if it doesn't contain eggs. The CDC warns that even allowing children to play or craft with raw dough isn't a smart idea.

[h/t NBC 12]

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