In all my years living down South I never heard of pimento cheese until I moved to North Carolina. Perhaps I wasn’t attuned to it, perhaps I just ignored it, but whatever the reason, I can’t seem to get away from it now!
First, what is pimento cheese? It’s a spread/dip associated with the South, made with cheese, mayo, pimentoes and various spices and often eaten with celery sticks or crackers. It is true comfort food, and easily transforms into a mean sandwich. In fact, grilled pimento cheese has to be one of my favorite occasional indulgences down here (go to Parker and Otis for my fave), or try a burger with pimento cheese instead of sliced cheese (try Tyler’s or Only Burger). Pimento cheese sandwiches are a signature item at the Master’s golf tournament!
Unfortunately the grocery store versions suffered from “American packaged-food-itis” — see Exhibit A:
And no, I didn’t cherry-pick this example. This was the third (!) carton I picked up with such an ingredient list (even the more “natural” looking containers at the top were terrible), and at this point a very nice, elderly Southern gentleman was giving me odd looks for my scrutiny/photography of the labels… So I gave him a friendly nod, returned the tub of goodness knows what to the refrigerated shelf, and let him pick up his pimento cheese 🙂 (I believe he chose the Augusta brand)
So what’s a girl to do? Make her own! Delish. It’s so dangerous that I messed with the proportions to make a simple, classic, single-serving recipe. When those pesky pimento cheese cravings hit… You can enjoy but not overindulge 🙂
Pimento Cheese for One
- 1/2 cup block cheddar cheese, grated (not pre-grated)
- 2 tablespoons pimentoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Dash celery salt
- Serve with celery sticks, crackers, or whatever you want!