"Slaw" is a general term that refers to any type of salad or side dish consisting of shredded or finely chopped vegetables. "Coleslaw" specifically refers to a type of slaw made with cabbage as the main ingredient.
Coleslaw always includes cabbage as the primary vegetable, while slaw can be made with various vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, kale, or Brussels sprouts.
Coleslaw typically uses a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise or a vinegar-based dressing, while slaw can have a wider range of dressings, including creamy, vinegar-based, or even oil-based dressings.
Coleslaw often has a slightly sweet flavor due to the addition of sugar or a sweet dressing, while slaw can be sweet, tangy, or savory depending on the dressing used.
Coleslaw is traditionally made with finely shredded cabbage, resulting in a softer and more delicate texture. Slaw, on the other hand, can have varying textures depending on the vegetables used and how they are prepared (e.g., shredded, grated, or julienned).
Coleslaw is commonly associated with American cuisine and is a popular side dish for dishes like barbecue or fried chicken. Slaw, however, is a broader term and can encompass various regional and international variations, each with their own unique flavors and ingredients.
Coleslaw is often served as a side dish alongside main courses or as a topping for sandwiches and burgers. Slaw can be served as a side dish, but it can also be used as a topping for tacos, pulled pork, or as a component in wraps and salads.
Coleslaw has a longer culinary history and is often associated with classic American and European cuisines. Slaw, being a broader term, can encompass a wider range of culinary traditions and influences.