As you can imagine, my whole life as I’ve traveled, eating out has been at least half the fun of every single destination for me. I love food. I have always loved food, and as I age, I appreciate its tastes and textures more and more every year.
Now you might expect my palate to be a bit snobby, always seeking the best seafood and cheeses and wines … but in fact, my favorite “road food” — if I may steal a term from Alton Brown — is cole slaw. Not that I’ve liked every dish of cole slaw ever served to me, but I love to try the many variations out there.
Is the cabbage chopped or shredded? Are carrots part of the recipe? Are they grated or finely chopped? Is the base more mayonnaise or vinegar? Is there celery seed? And what other ingredients are thrown in?
Many years ago — more than a decade, I’m sure — I considered starting a cole slaw journal and one day writing a book comparing my findings. And the final chapter would divulge the very best cole slaw I ever ate.
I obviously decided against that idea — I mean, who would be the audience for that book? But I do continue to taste-test cole slaw wherever I go. My favorite recipe would be made with shredded cabbage, a bit of grated carrot, a light mayo base with just a touch of vinegar, and definitely celery seed. To paraphrase — is it T.O.? — I love me some celery seed!
What may be most humorous here, though, is that I never — NEVER! — make my own slaw. My mother-in-law was almost famous for hers, laden with mayo and vinegar, but I generally don’t eat slaw … except when I’m on the road. Then it becomes my side-of-choice … my missione. What’s yours?