Look Who’s Slawing Now


Winter sucks. Thankfully, we got a brief reprieve from it in New York this weekend, with a bizarre, wonderful 60-degree Sunday. Of course, when this happens, most people I know immediately think — time to cook outside! So my friend Dave took the opportunity to smoke up some pork shoulder on the grill, and I was assigned coleslaw.

I’d never done it before so I went super-basic, avoiding anything fancy (just cabbage, carrots, mayo [not too freaking much!], vinegar, salt, pepper, and some fresh dill I happened to have). So I didn’t take a photo or anything because it was just your basic coleslaw, although everyone did seem to like it. In fact, when our pal Miss Brockhouse returned for a slice of apple pie, she lamented that there was no coleslaw left to eat with her pie! Running with this, I started thinking (and saying out loud), that you really could put coleslaw on anything. Of course, I was met with a chorus of ‘you must be wasted,’ but now even in the sober AM I still feel the same way. Why is coleslaw limited to an uneventful side or a sandwich topping for BBQ and BBQ alone?

BUT then I was reminded of this map that a friend recently forwarded:


Coleslaw on hot dogs? Can it be true? According to my very brief Internet research, it is. Apparently well aware that ketchup is out, West Virginians are quite passionate about their coleslaw-topped hot dogs.

I had no idea! And I have to say, I feel quite foolish about overlooking the culinary contributions of the Mountain State.

But seriously, can this be real? Or is it just some kind of sick Internet scam made up to trick gullible Yankees? Do West VAers put slaw on anything else, like burgers or apple pie? Have any of you actually had one of these mythical coledogs? Report back if you have! Or DC simmer bureau, you have a new road trip assignment.

Photo: Jslander

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  • Maids February 10, 2009  

    hmm… they must go through a lot of cabbages in West Virginia.

  • La Morgan February 10, 2009  

    I’m from Boston and I’ve definitely put slaw on a hot dog before. I don’t think WVA has full dibs on the one, but they might emphasize it more than other places. Anywhere with a Central/Eastern European heritage, I’d imagine, will tend to offer slaw with hotdogs – the American version of brats & sauerkraut.

  • JoeHoya February 11, 2009  

    Can’t say the idea of slaw on a dog is that surprising. Sauerkraut on dogs is common, and it uses that same cabbage/vinegar base – just cooked.

    That being said, there are VERY different styles of slaw out there – with or without mayo, extra veggies and spices, etc. Do you happen to know anything about the slaw the use on their dogs in WV? That would be the deciding factor for me on a thumbs up or down.

  • gansie February 11, 2009  

    i’ve never tried a coleslaw that i liked

  • Pingback: Coleslaw 2.0 March 5, 2009  

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