Maybe Pigs Can Fly: Pork “Wings” Rise in Popularity

The “flying pork wings” at Chicago's Flo & Santos, are coated in buffalo, barbeque or teriyaki sauce. ( Flo & Santos )

Food trends are no joke—from bacon-wrapped everything, ranch flavoring and the food bowl craze, consumers’ tastes are always looking for something new, fun and convenient.

In Chicago, Flo & Santos pub and eatery has a new pork-lovin’ spin on a game-day staple—boneless chicken wings. The “flying pork wings” are coated in buffalo, barbeque or teriyaki sauce.

“They’re an easy sell. It’s something unique, something you can share,” Nicki Piersanti, the restaurant’s general manager, told Bloomberg. “Pork wings -- it’s funny -- pigs can’t fly.”

And they aren’t the only one offering a pork spin on boneless, bite-sized protein. U.S. Foods Holding Corp., has been selling pork wings, or cuts from the shank to restaurants for about three years.

While sales are still lower than their chicken counterparts, “pork wings could play an important role” in 2019, said Kathleen Hoffman, chef at restaurant distributor U.S. Foods Holding Corp.

A major plus for pork—it can easily take on flavor profiles such as Korean, Thai and Chinese, opening the uniquely positioned product to a wide consumer market.

Bloomberg reports Bob File is credited to inventing the pig-wing category, specifically cut from the fibula of the hog’s shank.

Bloomberg also reports Maple Leaf Foods sells pig wings in Canada, while Farmland and Sysco also have their own products. Hooters of America, who marketed pork wings a couple years ago have also considered selling them again this year for a limited time. Other niche marketers, such as Pioneer Meats, are offering online sources for the cut.

Want to make “pig-wings” yourself for the big game?

Here’s a few fun recipes to check out:

Blue Cheese Buffalo Pork "Wings"

Pig Wings with Asian Sesame Sauce Pig Wings


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