C’est moi!

* Bonsoir my lovely enfants! Allow me to introduce myself. I am Monsieur Sebastien Cloutier, global ambassador for coleslaw, the most delightful and adaptable member of the salad family. Please permit moi to take a few moments of your time so we can contemplate the joys of coleslaw together.

As you know, my beloved French compatriots are renowned for their epicurean tendencies, but it is a little known fact that coleslaw was first discovered by Dutch explorers in the eighteenth century. They termed this exciting new foodstuff Koolsla, which is where the current name derives from. They discovered it in caves deep beneath the village of Charleville (birthplace of Arthur Rimbaud no less) on the French/Belgian border, but not realising the gravity of what they had stumbled on, they sold the mining rights for a pittance to my beloved ancestor Guillaume Mezieres-Cloutier, and the rest as they say is ‘histoire’!

My family scoured mainland Europe for more coleslaw mines, and soon we had gathered many of the finest varieties of coleslaw available to man… And to lovely mademoiselles also of course. Not only can the consistency of coleslaw vary widely, petite adjustments to the ingredients can also be found. In Eastern Europe for example, mustard is sometimes detectable on the palate, while near the Aegean Coast, one can find celery seeds added to coleslaw. Prior to the French Revolution, a distant cousin escaped to the Americas, and discovered varieties of coleslaw with ingredients as diverse as chillies, and even cheese, sacre bleurgh!

I can hear you drooling, mes amis!

Of course it’s not just about naturally occurring coleslaw. You, my fine companions, can also make and adapt your own coleslaw in any number of ways.Feeling adventurous? Try using red cabbage instead of white. A few spring onions to spare? Toss those into the mix for some added bite. And for some gallic influence, may I recommend pickled garlic? Mmmm, c’est magnifique. If you’re struggling for inspiration simply use the world wide web or a special recipe book to learn any number of ways to make your coleslaw experience unique and exciting.

Ah, but we forget! Not only is coleslaw a joy in itself, it also proves its worth by being a perfect accompaniment to so may other dishes. The humble baked potato? A sad and uninspiring proposition on anyone’s plate when it sprawls naked before them, but press a large dollop of coleslaw firmly into the parted flesh and voila! A mouth-watering  delicacy. The modest hotdog? Ah how forlorn it seems, all flaccid and unenthusiastic. Yet simply smear a generous portion of coleslaw down its length and see how it livens up before your very eyes. Truly tasty. The list could go on. Is there any dish in the world that cannot be improved by the addition of coleslaw? I think not!

Avec cranberries! How bold!

Alors, my time with you is almost up. Once again I must set upon my travels to the four corners of the globe, preaching the word of coleslaw to the masses. I hope I have helped open your eyes and stomachs to the wonderful possibilities that are open to you in the ways of coleslaw, and I leave you with this thought…

“Coleslaw! HUH! What is it good for? Absolutely everything!”

Merci, et bon nuit… Sebastien Cloutier (global coleslaw ambassador)

*For best results, please read in a French accent.

Until next time… ses x