Atlanta’s “cult of lemon pepper”

The Food Grails docuseries swings through town to learn all there is to know about lemon pepper wings
Lemon pepper wings from Dugans

Photograph courtesy of First We Feast

Lemon pepper, wet, all flats. Like, who are you hearing that from?”

Atlanta TV series creator Donald Glover poses the question, knowing the answer is obvious: Customers at LT’s Wings, J.R. Cricket’s, Dugans, and American Deli, that’s who. In other words: Atlanta.

Food site First We Feast’s docuseries Food Grails explores how underground foods become staples in major cities. Host Miss Info, a journalist whose main focus is hip-hop culture, has eaten her way through Vietnamese Po’ Boys in New Orleans, Jamaican beef patties in New York, and black-owned taco stands in Los Angeles. On the series finale, live today, she hits up Atlanta for lemon pepper wings.

Miss Info beholds a box of lemon pepper wings at J.R. Crickets.

Photograph courtesy of First We Feast

Why, exactly, Atlanta became such a wing town is hard to figure out, but there’s no denying that it is. “We literally have a wing spot on every fucking corner in Atlanta,” says rapper Waka Flocka in the video. “It’s legendary. It’s part of the culture.” (And so are the bones.)

Miss Info does her due diligence, starting at Magic City, chatting up rapper Rick Ross, who also owns around 30 Wing Stop locations, and moving on to a blind taste test with Atlanta magazine contributor Rembert Browne.

The piece stresses the link between Atlanta’s hip-hop culture, strip clubs, and lemon pepper chicken wings, but wherever this almost numbingly tart flavoring was born, it’s a citywide staple now. “Lemon pepper wings are Atlanta,” says city councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Watch the video below. (The on-location shots at Magic City are obviously NSWF.)

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