Black Wings Beating Quotes by Alex London
Independent culture newsletter
All photos by Christopher Bethell. Man reportedly first ate chicken in 5th century BC. Since then, in Britain — beside a culture of fried chicken shops, buoyed by immigrant communities — it's mostly been eaten as barely seasoned breasts and thighs, with the humble wing considered a scrap to discard or use for stock. Wings have of course soared into mainstream popularity in the US for the last few decades — estimates from a 2,person poll commissioned by a sauce brand, mind you say the average American consumes 18, wings in their lifetime. The UK has long been home to the full roast bird, so how did the wing find a foothold here? The wings on offer at Wing Fest aren't all deep-fried in the recognisable chicken-shop style.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realist fable proves to be the perfect vehicle for this bewitching collaboration between Islington's Little Angel Theatre and Cornwall's Kneehigh company. The rod-operated puppetry — directed by Sarah Wright and superbly executed by a four-strong team — gives just the right fantastical twist in its witty and wondrous games with scale and perspective and in its suggestive blend of the cartoon-like and the uncanny to this story of how the locals react when the eponymous creature crash-lands in their windswept coastal village. It's a location beautifully evoked here by the embracing curve of slate-coloured houses in Lyndie Wright's melancholic, multi-level design and by the accordion swirl of the Breton-tinged soundtrack by Ian Ross and Benji Power. The arrival of the old man — a grey, hauntingly emaciated, half-naked figure with huge bedraggled wings — seems to rid the place of its plague of crabs who are seen clattering creepily over the set at the start and to cure a dying little boy. Who is this newcomer- angel or freak, demon or redeemer? He too, though, is eventually corrupted by the economic boom in this short-lived, bunting-decked tourist trap. There are times when the piece is stronger on atmosphere than on narrative energy.
Buffalo wings are an inherently American indulgence, usually peaking around the time of the Superbowl, and, to be perfectly honest, something we Londoners have been pretty slow to catch onto. Requiring a certain cut of chicken wings whereby the wing is separated into 'drumettes' and 'flats', the wings are generally then deep fried until crispy before being drenched in a favoured hot sauce one called Frank's is big news and lots of butter. London has a few great examples of properly authentic sticky, sweet and spicy Buffalo wings, which we've shared for you to get your game on. But, seeing as you've probably worked up quite an appetite with all that queuing, you may as well order up a side of the famous Winger Winger Chicken Dinner while you're at it. Smoked and confited juicy wings sourced from small, high welfare farms are slathered in BBQ sauce then dusted in spring onions. The result is a soft, sweet and smokey wing, but one that may lack that element of crunch due to the confiting. If you like messy, falling-off-the-bone tenderness then these are for you; for heat and and bit more bite, look elsewhere.
Man Dem V Food. I started off with the BBQ wings. The chicken was succulent, oozing with flavour. Every bite made you want more. Next up were the buffalo wings. Moving on from the buffalo wings, were the honey glazed wings. These had a crispy coating and were absolutely delicious.