The Original Hooters Wing Breading; The Original Hooters Wing Sauce (Hot); Schnucks Natural Chicken Wings; Crisco All Natural Pure Vegetable Oil

$2.73; $5.23; $5.60: $3.88
3430 S. Grand Boulevard

Original Hooters Wing Sauce (Hot)

Seen a foodstuff you're too timid to try? Malcolm will eat it! E-mail particulars to [email protected]

As far as historical dates are concerned, October 25 is pretty dull.

There are a few notable births and deaths (Pablo Picasso [born in 1881], Geoffrey Chaucer [died in 1400]), but when it comes to watershed events, what does old 10/25 really have to show for itself? That in 1960 the first digital watch went on sale? How about Wings' 1974 release of "Junior's Farm"? Oh, wait! I've got it! It was today that in 1924 Little Orphan Annie debuted as a comic strip.

See what I mean? Datewise, October 25 is a non-starter. For the past two decades, the date's primary historical significance — in St. Louis, at least — is that it was on this day that the Minnesota Twins completed their Metrodome-aided triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 World Series.

But 10/25 is about to get a makeover — or at least a boob job.

You see, today marks the day that the Hooters 2008 National Calendar Signing Tour rolls into Springfield, Missouri, and the folks at Hooters corporate promise that 2008 is the "Hottest Hooters Calendar ifs, ands, or butts about it!"

Clearly, the Hooters girls' arrival in Springfield trumps any charging Light Brigade (1854) or U.S. invasion of Grenada (1983).

Those are facts. This is history.

Now, I'm not fancy, but I've never been to a Hooters — a state of affairs that, sadly, I won't be amending today in Springfield. Instead, I've opted to honor this august occasion from an aerie of historical remove, here presented in a bag of The Original Hooters Wing Breading and a jar of The Original Hooters Wing Sauce (Hot).

At first blush I was surprised to see the Hooters paraphernalia stocked like any other foodstuff in the grocery store, not far from the salsas and hot sauces. It's not that I doubted the quality. It's just that going to Hooters for the food is sort of like buying Playboy for the articles. The place goes heavy on atmospherics, and though its charms may be manifold, I'd never thought to count hot wings among them.

No matter. After a quick trip to the meat counter for a tray of Schnucks Natural Chicken Wings (coincidentally, this being October, the tray was ornamented with a pink ribbon in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month), I picked up a bottle of Crisco All Natural Pure Vegetable Oil and I was on my way to my mammary-intensive meal.

Per the bag's directions, I split the wings into their component "flappers" and "drumettes" before burying them in a bowlful of The Original Hooters Wing Breading. I heated all 48 ounces of Crisco in a stockpot, then dunked the flock in the boiling oil.

The wings emerged a few moments later, crisp and brown. I tossed them in The Original Hooters Wing Sauce, and watched as my ugly drumettes and flappers transformed into a lovely bowl of buffet-worthy hot wings. They were delicious — crisp, juicy, with a tangy heat that quickly evaporates.

My only quibble: The Original Hooters Wing Sauce is heavy on butter. Of course, Hooters and dairy go together like, well...let's not go there.

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