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Slaw, often called cole slaw or coleslaw in some American dialects, is a type of salad consisting primarily of shredded raw cabbage. It may also include shredded carrots.
There are many variations of the recipe which include the addition of other ingredients, such as red cabbage, pepper, onion, grated cheese, pineapple, or apple. What distinguishes Coleslaw from cabbage as a condiment is that it is mixed with a mayonnaise. In the U.S. coleslaw also contains buttermilk or mayonnaise substitutes, and carrot; although many regional variations exist, and recipes incorporating prepared mustard are also common. Barbecue slaw, also known as red slaw and commonly found in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, is made using ketchup and vinegar rather than mayonnaise.
Another variant, broccoli slaw, uses shredded raw broccoli in place of the cabbage.
A variety of seasonings, such as celery seed, may be added. The dressing is usually allowed to settle on the blended ingredients for several hours before being served. The cabbage may come in finely minced pieces, shredded strips, or small squares.
Coleslaw is generally eaten as a side dish with foods such as barbecue, French fries, and fried chicken. It may also be used as a sandwich ingredient, placed on barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs along with chili and hot mustard. It is sometimes seen in delicatessens on variants of the Reuben sandwich - with coleslaw substituting for the sauerkraut and dressing, the meat being either pastrami or corned beef, and the sandwich commonly called "Rachel" instead of "Reuben" (also simply "Corned Beef Special"). A variation of coleslaw made with vinegar and oil is often served with pizza in Sweden.
A variation of coleslaw, cheese savoury, is popular in the North-East of England. This is made with a higher proportion of onion than is usual, as well as with the addition of cheese and the substitution of salad cream for mayonnaise.