Tuesday, July 28, 2015
A Basket Full of Coleslaw
So let's look at this ad instead. Did people ever really present their food like this, in real life, in 1964? I don't think they did. Coleslaws in hollowed out cabbages, for heaven's sake.
In The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, John Mariani says that coleslaw gets its name from the Dutch word koolsla, which quite literally means cabbage salad, and that it known in the US as early as the end of the 18th century.
Mrs. Washington in The Unrivalled Cook-book and Housekeeper's Guide (1885) says that to make a good coleslaw, pour hot "Philadelphia sauce" over finely shredded (and salted) cabbage, then let it cool down. Philadelphia sauce is basically sour cream boiled with butter, vinegar, salt and sugar, and a couple of optional egg yolks (in other words, something close to mayonnaise or salad dressing).
Most modern coleslaw recipes call for tossing shredded cabbage with some mayonnaise and a little mustard or vinegar. It's nice to use a mix of red and white cabbage, maybe shredded carrots too, for color. No cabbage baskets or orange peel bows required.