When you’re at a restaurant where you’ve never eaten before and you order a meal and they ask you what side you’d like and you’ve already handed the menu back without looking at the options (and you’re obviously too embarassed to admit that you didn’t read every word on the entire menu, for shame!) you go for the classic, age old option that you know every establishment that offers sides will have. “I’ll have the coleslaw, please,” you declare, proud of yourself for managing to save face with a person you’re likely to never see again in your entire life. What is coleslaw? You don’t know. You’ve ordered a meal or two at Kentucky Fried Chicken and you know that they won’t let you escape without taking a side (I don’t know if they still do it, but last I was there you could ask for gravy as your side instead of one of those terrible salads. If it still rolls that way: you’re welcome) and so you order the coleslaw like everyone else, except for the people getting the gravy. You were really hungry one time and you ate that radioactive green glop that KFC calls coleslaw and you swore you’d never eat it again. You don’t plan to finish the one you just ordered, either. You’ll ruthlessly devour everything else on your plate, but you won’t tell your wait staff that you’re happier without a side. What kind of a jackass doesn’t get everything they paid for, even if they’re not going to eat it?
Sure, some people eat coleslaw. You know a few of them. Some people eat pickled eggs and peppers that are so hot they blister their own tongues. The difference is there is not nearly as much daily effort being devoted to potentially scalding tongues with peppers or pickling of eggs. What’s even in coleslaw? Let’s find out! Coleslaw’s main component is sliced cabbage which can sometimes be mixed with other sliced dry veggies and some vinegar, mayonnaise or fruit juices. The cabbages typically used in restaurants take about 87 days to grow in a farmer’s field before they are gathered up and shipped to various eateries near and far. They are then diced up by an employee who adds carrots and the liquid that will glop it all together. Then they are filled into serving sized ramekins and distributed to people who eat everything else on their plate and then leave it to be discarded into the garbage by their server who will then pass it to a dish pit warrior who will spray it clean for the next round of coleslaw. The cycle never stops and the reason why is no one knows anything about what sides they really want and they continue to order the side they know they’ll never eat. Best to leave room for dessert.
I would estimate that roughly 97% of the coleslaw that is produced in Canada ultimately ends up in the garbage. I have worked for more than a couple of different restaurants and I’ve seen it happen again and again. Nothing makes you feel proud about your job like making a bunch of food you know people are going to throw in the garbage and sometimes having to change a garbage overflowing with coleslaw that was not even touched. Yet the industry moves ever forward, thousands of tons of coleslaw being produced every single day and then thrown in the garbage. A process taking more than 90 days to reach your plate all for no reason whatsoever. Just toss that culmination of about a hundred different people’s jobs in the trash, I only ordered it because it’s the only side I can remember.
You should do yourself a favour and actually look at the sides you’re being offered and if you don’t like them then just explain that you’d rather not have any of them and if they have to punch one in on the system they can pick whatever side they want but you don’t want it on your plate. If none of the sides appeal to you then you should suggest a couple of sides you would like to see on the menu. Coleslaw is not evil and can be quite refreshing sometimes. You should allow it the dignity of only being ordered by people who want to eat it. Restaurants should make people eat their coleslaw first before they get the rest of their meal, thus ensuring it’s only ordered by the correct consumer. Next time your meal is late consider the fact that your plate might be finished and sitting, getting cold, waiting for a cup of coleslaw you’re not even going to eat. We can all be better than this, people.