One of America’s Favorites – Red Slaw

May 24, 2021 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Lexington (North Carolina) style barbecue (pulled pork) served with hushpuppies, baked beans and red slaw (lower right)

Red slaw (sometimes called barbecue slaw) is a condiment commonly served on hot dogs, on barbecue pork sandwiches, as a side dish for other types of barbecue, on hamburgers, or with other foods. It is an essential part of “Lexington style” North Carolina barbecue.

Red slaw is different from traditional coleslaw in that it does not use mayonnaise as an ingredient, allowing it to be stored for longer periods without refrigeration and making it more suitable for outdoor serving. It is made with green cabbage, vinegar, water and ketchup, giving it the characteristic color. In addition to being a staple part of Lexington style barbecue, it is also common in other portions of the Southeastern United States. In these regions, regular cole slaw may be called “white slaw” to differentiate it from red slaw.

Recipes vary widely and may include other ingredients, such as onion, sugar, black pepper, mustard seed and other spices, depending on the region in which it is being served.

In the late 1990s, Wendy’s sold the “Carolina Classic Burger” which was a traditional hamburger with red slaw, onions, chili and American cheese, going so far as to trademark the name.

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