Historic Hamptons Slawhut Preservation Rules Enacted

Police guard a historic Hamptons slawhut
Police guard a historic Hamptons slawhut, Photo: debbiehelbing, zabelin/iStock/Thinkstock

Decrying the widespread destruction of historic slawhuts across the East End of Long Island, preservation officials have enacted new rules forbidding the removal of slawhuts.

Head slawhut preservationist Simon Wintersturm explained the new regulations and provided some background: “Not many people are aware, but in earlier days on the East End, before the advent of refrigeration, people kept their coleslaw fresh in underground storage spaces built for the purpose. These slawhuts, as they were called, used to be a feature of every backyard—because if you didn’t have a slawhut, you didn’t have coleslaw.

In recent years, these historic slawhuts have all but disappeared, as homeowners have torn them out or, worse, converted them into hot tubs. But with these rules, those with slawhuts still remaining on their property will be forbidden to remove or alter the slawhuts in any way.” Police have been instructed to keep an eye on the slawhuts to ensure that property owners abide by the new rules.

Officers will be able to issue arrest warrants for anyone suspected of removing or altering one of these historic coleslaw storage units.

For those who don’t remember, slaw has been in the Hamptons news quite a bit over the last year or two.

The East End saw a record number of coleslaw outages starting in early August 2015. Emergency shipments of the popular cabbage salad were brought to the region in trucks with police escorts, and eventually on single-car locomotives called “Slawliners.”

More than a month later, in late September, the Hamptons Police Department and federal authorities arrested deli salad magnate Whitney Ogden Oates III on charges of manipulating the East End coleslaw supply in order to profit from artificially inflated coleslaw prices.

Following the Ogden Oats slaw debacle, the Hamptons Police Department launched a sting operation and discovered several area restaurants were serving coleslaw with unauthorized ingredients, as stated by stipulations in the local coleslaw purity law. In October, the restaurants were raided and penalized accordingly.

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