Coleslaw, not your average question.

I have given great thought to the little tub of coleslaw that is served with nearly every meal that I’ve had in my life and it has dawned on me that the taste is virtual the same no matter where I go in the country.

So, my question is, is there ONE BIG GINORMOUS COLESLAW MAFIA that provides this salad to everyone or what?

Recently I made some “coleslaw” to my own recipe. I shredded brussel sprouts rather than cabbage and used fennel, leeks, carrots, mild peppers and celery. I added some orange zest to the dressing. It was pretty good according to those that ate it.

I had assumed that there would be a whole lot of similar “slaw” recipes with different additions and substitutions but when I started looking all I came up with was various versions of Mafia Coleslaw. Seems stupid to me, when I make my own I tailor it towards it’s use like if it’s going on burgers I add chili, if it’s served with seafood I make it lemony.

No, which I know because the coleslaw at Friendly’s (East coast ice-cream and food chain – like Denny’s, but with ice cream) really sucks. And I always forget and taste it when my sandwich comes, but nope, it always sucks.

Of course, maybe they’re just refusing to pay off the Coleslaw Mafia, and that’s why they can’t get decent slaw.

Props to you for getting “coleslaw” correctly – one word. It’s a pet peeve of mine.

I’m startled to learn that someone has had cole slaw served to him for nearly every meal in his life.

There’s two kinds of coleslaw provided by the Coleslaw Mafia - good and bad. The good is finely shredded, seasoned just right, and made with mayonnaise. The Wegmans here sells it in little containers for a shockingly high sum of money… The bad is sold by Aldi’s or Walmart, might possibly be mixed with miracle whip for that icky cheap taste (the kind of coleslaw you buy when you don’t want to make your own but you have to bring something to feed a mob) and frankly I’m afraid to buy it because it looks like the kind that is always being recalled for salmonella or e coli.

There are other kinds of coleslaw that use oil, vinegar, sugar, etc. but the kind with creamy dressing is the standard version known to the general public, so that’s what is sold. (It’s like fish sold at the fish cove on Fridays - slab of haddock, breaded, deep fried. The fish cove isn’t going to start experimenting with grilled haddock marinated in lemon garlic!)

I like good coleslaw. Most of the coleslaw I eat is made in the restaurants instead of being pre-made. I reckon one in seven or one in eight is good. A pub I go to for lunch sometimes loads theirs with onions. If they’d get rid of the onions, it would be good. (It’s either that, or fries sprinkles with parmesan cheese.) Other places think coleslaw with a vinaigrette dressing instead of the creamy type. Not good. Still other places have a decent dressing, but don’t use enough of it.

[Andy Rooney Mode]I’m not sure why there aren’t more coleslaws made with a combination of Sauerkraut and Cabbage, or with the boon in popularity of Korean food, Kimchee and Cabbage? Most Coleslaw has an acidic component, anyways, why not get that and an interesting texture variation with a pickle? Colelaw is really a half pickle anyways when you think about it, a fresh cure sauerkraut. Why don’t more coleslaws contain cucumbers, for texture and fresh flavor, for that matter?[/Andy Rooney Mode]

Just the word “coleslaw” is unappetizing. Looking at the stuff on a plate certainly doesn’t help, either.

You poor poor people.

has never actually tried it, and has no intention to start now :wink:

Good cole slaw is a Food of the Gods™.

If I can’t eat in the Carolinas, then KFC is the best retail slaw around. But I generally make my own, because I like mine with a bit more vinegar tang to it.

My local supermarket sells both kinds, and I like them both, so the kind I get from there depends on what I feel like that day. But restaurants only seem to serve the Coleslaw Mafia kind.

I’m picturing some “legitimate businessmen” telling the local Mom-n-Pop restaurant, “Nice place you’ve got. Be a shame if something was to happen to it. Y’know, like rumors about cockroaches, extra health department inspections, stuff like that. But listen, we’re here on business, and we’ve got this nice, mayonnaisy, coleslaw…”

You know who had a really good coleslaw, that is “real” traditional coleslaw, yet isn’t lowest common denominator mass produced stuff?- Bill Knapp’s, best “commercial” slaw there was.

From Uncle Phaedrus:

Somebody told me you might like this recipe; I searched through your
archives and didn’t see it. This recipe comes out of the Battle Creek
Enquirer; I only have a clipping to work from so I can’t tell you the
date, but I assume it’s more than a few years old (it’s from no earlier
than 1988). Here’s the transcript:

1+1/2 cups salad dressing (not mayonnaise)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon granulated sugar
1+1/2 pounds finely shredded cabbage
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3 tablespoons finely chopped onions

Blend salad dressing, mustard, salt and sugar thoroughly with a wire
whip and refrigerate until ready to add to salad. Pour dressing over
vegetables and mix until creamy and evenly blended. Refrigerate.
Makes 8 servings.

Marie’s makes a pretty good commercial dressing for slaw. Needs a bit more vinegar, but that’s easy to fix.

Cole’s Law: Everyone’s coleslaw tastes different.

Well, yeah, it’s “one word” today, but, due to “popular etymology” it started out life(in print) as “cold slaw.”

I would argue that it shouldn’t be “one word.” Slaw is the noun, cole is the adjective. You can have BBQ slaw, broccoli slaw, confetti slaw, etc.

I sit corrected and should say that every time I’ve eaten in a restaurant, I’ve been served coleslaw. And it always tastes the same in every place if it doesn’t have the HOMEMADE SLAW addendum thingie.


That’s a good basic coleslaw recipe, but -

what, exactly, is “salad dressing”???

Not Miracle Whip?!?! :eek:

What else would it be? :eek:

There was an old joke book that was put out in the 70s, I believe, which discussed Murphy’s Law and a huge amount of variants, corollaries, lemmas, etc. thereon. In the middle of the book, you came across:

Cole’s Law:

Finely shredded cabbage.


I usually make coleslaw with vinegar rather than any salad dressing or mayonnaise.