Have you heard there’s a chicken wing shortage? Just kidding! We know you know about the chicken wing shortage, because it’s been reported constantly throughout 2021, especially at crucial poultry-filled moments such as Super Bowl Sunday.
But for those who aren’t dedicated chicken chompers, here’s some background on the shortage: Chicken wings are cheap, can be made in small restaurant kitchens (or ghost kitchens), are easy to pull off with minimal effort (just drown subpar wings in hot sauce!), retain heat well throughout delivery transit, and are just plain delicious. Because of all this, consumption of chicken wings rose significantly during 2020's stay-at-home period, right as supply chains were strained and producing fewer wings due to COVID-related production interruptions.
Different restaurants have been dealing with the shortage in different ways. Wingstop, for example, launched Thighstop, a virtual fried-thighs-only restaurant concept for those who appreciate the most delicious part of the bird. And now Foodbeast brings tidings of Hurricane Grill & Wings, a Florida-based restaurant chain that is solving the chicken wing shortage with... pork wings.
Foodbeast explains that the “wings” are actually made from pig shank; they’re bone-in pieces of fried pork with both Sweet Red Chili sauce and BBQ sauce on the side. Sure, you don’t get the option of selecting either a drum or a flat from the platter, but pork wings definitely seem to satisfy the desire to gnaw on a chunk of saucy handheld meat, do they not? That’s 90% of the reason people order wings when they’re out at a restaurant, as I understand it.
Whether or not this “pork wings” trend catches on at other restaurants remains to be seen. The essence of a pork wing comes down to semantics, I suppose: it’s about as much of a wing as “boneless wings” are, which is to say, the name is just marketing and the power of suggestion. By calling these pork niblets “wings,” the restaurant is trying to convince us that we haven’t lost anything. And as the chicken wing shortage drags on, we can hope that they’re right. Would you order a platter of pork wings for the table?