Pimento Cheese 101

Pimento cheese is a traditional Southern dish usually eaten as a sandwich filling. It commands particular affection and strong opinions among Southerners, but is loved by folks from all over. Its main ingredients are cheddar cheese, jarred pimiento peppers, and mayonnaise, but it’s much more than the sum of its parts. FoodFuser waxes poetic about pimento cheese, which he learned to make when he was a small child: “Real Pimento Cheese will stroke the palate and connote the sounds of the creaking chain of the front porch swing as it pendulums its way through a lovely and lazy summer afternoon.”

Pimento cheese is extremely easy to make. It’s simply grated yellow Cheddar (most hounds like to use sharp Cheddar), chopped drained jarred pimientos, and mayonnaise folded together; hounds variously add a bit of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Tabasco or ground cayenne, a little yellow mustard, or a small amount of grated sweet onion, according to taste. Tom P’s recipe uses a seven-ounce jar of pimientos and two thirds of a cup of mayo for each pound of cheese.

The classic bread for pimento cheese sandwiches is a close-grained white sandwich bread, says MakingSense. FoodFuser recommends Pepperidge Farm Very Thin or a Pullman loaf. In addition to making sandwiches or eating it on crackers, Janet from Richmond says it’s good on burgers and baked potatoes, and “makes a kick-ass grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese.”

Board Link: Augusta National Pimento Cheese