Americans could be forgiven for thinking that chicken wings come from Buffalo, and Brits may think of them as that bit of the Sunday roast that no one really wants, but there are few foods quite so close to the heart of the people of Nagoya as the humble chicken wing. Tebasaki, to give it its local name, is famous round these parts, and people come from miles around to sample this uniquely Nagoyan dish. With this in mind, it should come to no surprise that, so revered is it, tebasaki actually has its own festival.
The Tebasaki Summit
Brought about by the Japan Tebasaki Association, The Tebasaki Summit began in 2014 as national chicken wing championships and attracted more than 30,000 visitors who ate a combined 150,000 wings. It continued to grow last year, and this year’s poultry Grand Prix is expected to be the biggest and best yet.
Challengers from all over the country will be pitting their wits against each other hoping to pick up the grand prize. Last year the top position was collected by Tebasaki Bancho, a restaurant from Miyazaki Prefecture, so there is a lot of local pride at stake this time round.
But of course, the tebasaki summit isn’t just about the competition, but eating is very high on the agenda. There are so many different varieties of tebasaki to choose from, with different different spice combinations, different frying techniques and even different types of chicken (the Nagoya Cochin chicken is particularly famous). But be warned, queues for some of the most popular ones can be pretty long, so it pays to either turn up early, or be prepared to sample the more unusual or undiscovered varieties.
As well as food itself there will be musical performances from 80 local musicians and 13 idol groups. A speech will be given by the Mayor of Nagoya, there is karaoke, games and of course the summit’s mascot (a giant chicken wing, if you hadn’t guessed) so there is plenty to get involved with once you’ve had your fill of incredibly moreish wings. If that were indeed possible …