Lemon pepper wings
A basket of lemon pepper wings
CourseAppetizer or main course
Place of originMiami, Florida
Associated cuisineCuisine of the Southern United States
Main ingredientsChicken, lemon pepper

Lemon pepper wings are unbreaded chicken wings coated in lemon pepper seasoning. The dish was invented in Miami, Florida, and is considered to be emblematic of the city's cuisine.

History

Lemon pepper wings were invented in Miami, Florida, where people began adding lemon pepper to buffalo wings to reduce their spiciness.[1][2] Wings which came dressed in lemon pepper seasoning later became popular at the city's restaurants.[3] Another reason for the popularity of lemon pepper wings in the early 2000s may have been the fact that they were less likely to stain clothes than buffalo wings, and were preferred by rappers who commonly wore white t-shirts at the time.[4]

The dish is strongly associated with Atlanta cuisine.[5][6] Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms commented that "Lemon pepper wings are Atlanta" in 2017.[7] In 2022, Eric Kim of The New York Times wrote that "in Atlanta, lemon pepper is queen" and described the wings as "central to [the city's] social fabric."[8]

The wings have inspired various items such as lemon pepper tacos,[9] french fries, pierogies,[10] pizza,[11] beer,[12] and soda.[13]

Lemon pepper wings are frequently served in the city's strip clubs.[7][8][14] Chris Kirschner of The Athletic observed that high-quality food was often a hallmark of Atlanta strip clubs, particularly wings,[4] and their food was known to draw celebrity guests.[15] It is also served throughout the United States by chain restaurants.[16][17]

Description

The dish is prepared by frying or roasting unbreaded chicken wings. After cooking, they are tossed in lemon pepper, a seasoning made with lemon zest and black pepper as well as other ingredients such as sugar.[18][19][8] Many recipes use premade lemon pepper.[20]

A platter of lemon pepper wings, buffalo wings, and sliced vegetables

Lemon pepper wet

"Lemon pepper wet" is a variation in which the wings are coated in a sauce. They may be tossed in a lemon sauce instead of a dry rub. This version of the dish was invented at the American Deli in Atlanta.[21][20] Other versions of this dish involve coating the wings with butter or buffalo sauce and tossing them in dry lemon pepper seasoning.[22][23]

In popular culture

Lemon pepper wings are commonly referenced in music and television related to Atlanta.[24] The 2 Chainz song "Hot Wings" (2018) includes the verse "She just want her 20-piece/ All flats with the lemon pepper".[25] They are mentioned in the Drake song "Lemon Pepper Freestyle" (2021) featuring Rick Ross. Ross, who owns several Wingstop locations, has mentioned them in numerous other songs including "Buy Back the Block", "Dope Dick", "U.O.E.N.O." and "Thug Cry".[26] They have also been mentioned in songs by rappers like Gucci Mane and the group Migos.[27]

They appeared in the second episode of the television series Atlanta,[28] in which a character receives "lemon pepper wet" wings from the real life restaurant J.R. Crickets.[23] The scene went viral on social media and popularized the dish online.[29] At the time, "lemon pepper wet" wings were not on the restaurant's menu although they had a similar dish called "Fester" wings which customers frequently referred to as "lemon pepper wet". The "lemon pepper wet" depicted in the show was actually inspired by a dish served at the American Deli, a different restaurant in Atlanta.[23] Writer Stephen Glover explained that he wanted the character to be "hooked up" by receiving an item that was not on the menu at J.R. Crickets. In 2017, J.R. Crickets added "lemon pepper wet" to the menu in honor of the show.[30] Mike Jordan of Eater Atlanta claimed that the episode had popularized the dish.[28]

In 2020, Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers was nicknamed "Lemon Pepper Lou" on social media when it was reported that he ordered lemon pepper wings with Jack Harlow at the Magic City strip club during a trip outside the NBA Bubble.[31][32] Williams was previously known for frequenting the club to purchase its wings,[4] where the dish "Louwill Lemon Pepper BBQ Wings" was named after him.[33][34] He objected to the nickname but later trademarked it.[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Strip Clubs Are The Reason club in Miami area Is Addicted To Lemon-Pepper Wings". www.foodbeast.com. July 12, 2017. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  2. ^ Weiss, Joey (November 1, 2021). "Why Lemon Pepper Wings Reign Supreme in Atlanta". Atlanta Eats. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  3. ^ Kincaid, Adam. "Where to get Atlanta's famous lemon pepper wet wings". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Howard, Jacinta (June 29, 2022). "How Atlanta's Hottest Strip Club Became a Chicken Wing Destination". Eater Atlanta. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  5. ^ Food, Thrillist (December 19, 2015). "All 50 States, Ranked by Their Food". Thrillist. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  6. ^ Parker, Najja. "Food show spotlights Atlanta's lemon pepper wings". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Bainbridge, Julia (July 12, 2017). "Atlanta's "cult of lemon pepper"". Atlanta Magazine. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Kim, Eric (January 12, 2022). "Lemon Pepper Makes Everything Better — Especially Wings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  9. ^ Hansberger, Angela. "Try this taco twist on an Atlanta favorite". Restaurant News (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  10. ^ McKibben, Beth (June 24, 2022). "Five Lemon Pepper Wet Dishes Beyond Wings in Atlanta". Eater Atlanta. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  11. ^ Brock, Wendell. "Atlanta Orders In: Phew's Pies puts lemon pepper wings on pizza". ATLANTA ORDERS IN (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "Atlanta's Second Self Brewery Announces New Lemon Pepper Wet Sour Beer". Brewbound. October 27, 2021. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  13. ^ Ashford, D'Anna (April 1, 2023). "Atlanta's Latest Soda Flavor 'Lemon Pepper Wet' Drops This Weekend". Secret Atlanta. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  14. ^ Pintavorn, Trisha (February 8, 2023). "We Visited Atlanta's Strip Clubs to Taste Their Wings. Yes, Really". Best places to eat in Atlanta, GA | Atlanta Eats. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  15. ^ Kirschner, Chris. "'It's the magic, baby': Lou Williams was right about Magic City's wings". The Athletic. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  16. ^ Joseph, Ryan (March 8, 2018). "Our Favorite Buffalo Wild Wings Flavors, Ranked". Thrillist. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  17. ^ "Popular Wingstop Flavors, Ranked Worst To First". Mashed. June 21, 2021. Archived from the original on June 28, 2023. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  18. ^ "Lemon-Pepper Chicken Wings Recipe". NYT Cooking. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  19. ^ "Fried Lemon-Pepper Wings". Taste of Home. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  20. ^ a b Suchman, Scott. "Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ McConnell, Akila Sankar (2019). Culinary History of Atlanta, A. Arcadia Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4671-4123-9. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  22. ^ "Lemon Pepper Wings | America's Test Kitchen Recipe". www.americastestkitchen.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  23. ^ a b c Walljasper, Matt (May 31, 2017). "If FX's Atlanta made you order J.R. Crickets's Lemon Pepper Wet wings, you're missing out on half the story". Atlanta Magazine. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  24. ^ "Atlanta is the King of Lemon Pepper Wings". GAFollowers. July 13, 2017. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  25. ^ McNeilly, Claudia (January 29, 2020). "Forget barbecue, buffalo and honey garlic. Lemon pepper wings are the best wings of all time". National Post. Archived from the original on July 15, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  26. ^ Bradley, Brent (February 12, 2018). "Every Rick Ross "Lemon Pepper" Lyric, Ranked (An Absurdly Detailed Investigation)". DJBooth. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  27. ^ "Let Rick Ross and Donald Glover sell you on Atlanta's lemon pepper wings". The A.V. Club. July 14, 2017. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  28. ^ a b Jordan, Mike (March 29, 2022). "We Have to Talk About the Food in the Series 'Atlanta'". Eater Atlanta. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  29. ^ "Atlanta Is Wing Town, and Lemon Pepper Is King". First We Feast. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  30. ^ Wicker, Jewel. "J.R. Crickets adds 'lemon pepper wet' to menu after 'Atlanta' episode". Atlanta Living & Arts (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  31. ^ "Clippers' Lou Williams trademarks 'Lemon Pepper Lou' nickname earned from his infamous strip club trip". CBSSports.com. September 11, 2020. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  32. ^ Helin, Kurt (July 26, 2020). "Lou Williams under investigation by NBA for activities outside bubble". ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports. Archived from the original on June 22, 2023. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  33. ^ "NBA fans had so many jokes about Lou Williams' strip club wings after trade to Atlanta". For The Win. March 25, 2021. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  34. ^ "What has been the biggest threat to the NBA bubble? Louwill Lemon Pepper BBQ wings". Yahoo Sports. July 26, 2020. Archived from the original on December 9, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  35. ^ Conway, Tyler. "Lou Williams Says He Was Fighting 'Goofy' Narrative About Strip Club Chicken Wings". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on June 16, 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.