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The Search For Perfection In Buffalo Wings And Love

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Jan 26, 2015

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player and subscribe in iTunes.

Here on The Sporkful, we talk a lot about the Platonic eating ideal we call Perfect Deliciousness. Maybe we never succeed in eating that perfect sandwich or burrito or slice of pie, but true Eaters never stop trying to get closer and closer.

Journalist and filmmaker Matt Reynolds understands that quest. His docu-comedy The Great Chicken Wing Hunt (2013) features a motley crew of wing fanatics, Slovak filmmakers, and his Czech girlfriend Lucie traipsing across a swath of upstate New York's Wing Belt in search of the perfect Buffalo wing.

"I want to believe that there are perfect things in life," Matt says at the start of the film. "The perfect relationship, the perfect song, or the perfect day. And the perfect wing. I think it's out there."

But is that still Matt's belief by the end of the film? And will Matt and Lucie end up together after their marathon wings quest? Is achieving perfection in wings -- and love -- even possible?

"There is kind of a parallel to making a decision about the perfect wing and making a decision about my relationship [with Lucie]," Matt says. "You're chasing that moment where you can't imagine anything could be any better."

Here's Matt in the film doing just that:

GCWH-director-eating-wing

Also in this podcast, Matt and I meet (over wings at New York's Village Pourhouse) to talk wing nomenclature, scoring criteria, and eating methods. Is flavor more important than meat quality? Are breaded Buffalo wings ever permissible? And how hot should the perfect one be?

"I think all that is pretty silly," Matt says of wing-makers who use chemical extracts to boost heat. "Why not have a contest where you let someone punch you in the face?"

This podcast gets deep, and that's even before I introduce Matt to a radical new way of eating wings. Listen in to hear Matt's reaction when he puts my method to the test.

Be sure to check out our related posts on wings -- including my recipe for Where There's Smoke, There's No Need For Fire Chicken Wings and a video in which competitive eater Crazy Legs Conti demonstrates a wing eating technique called the Meat Umbrella.

The Great Chicken Wing Hunt is available for purchase on DVD or via digital download. Watch the trailer here:

Make your inbox more delicious! Sign up for The Sporkful newsletter by noon (EST) on February 20, 2015 and you'll be automatically entered to win a free copy of Dan's book, Eat More Better. If you're already on the list, you're already entered!

Photos courtesy of Matt Reynolds & The Great Chicken Wing Hunt

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