Pimento Cheese is a true Southern Classic. While you can easily find dips in the grocery store with the same name, making it at home is soooo much better!
We’re onto recipe #2 of Southern foods week – Pimento Cheese!
Here’s a quick history on it for you. Pimento cheese got it start in the early 1900’s as a tea time staple. Cheddar cheese and peppers were expensive, so it was reserved for high society. Those crustless, white bread tea sandwiches with a mixture of peppers, cheese and mayo were the perfect finger food for the ladies at their tea parties.
However, once processed cheese was developed in 1915 and more farmers began growing pimento peppers, the price to make it significantly dropped and it became a work-force lunch staple. It was quick and easy to spread between two pieces of bread before running out the door in the morning.
Today you can find it pre-made in just about any grocery store and the traditional ingredients (cheddar cheese, pimento peppers and mayo) are easy to come by. Although it still makes me think of high-society and tea time when I hear the words “pimento cheese.”
Ok, are you sick of this post yet? History happened to be one of my favorite subjects in school, so I apologize to those I might be boring with all of this! We’re onto the food now, I promise!
While there’s many different versions of pimento cheese, this one happens to be my favorite. It’s only three ingredients and minimal prep and work. Start by grating some cheddar cheese. Make sure you buy it as a block and grate it yourself as the pre-shredded varieties won’t blend as well together in this recipe. Then stir together the cheese with some drained (jarred) pimento peppers. Add in the mayonnaise and you’re done!
Just like that you’ve created a Southern food staple! This goes great on crackers, crustless white bread for tea-sandwiches or feel to get more creative by making a pimento cheese BLT or adding it to something like macaroni and cheese! I had the most fabulous pimento cheese BLT at Poogan’s Porch in Charleston. I will definitely be using some of this to try and re-create that!
Such an easy recipe to make and can be used in so many ways. Make some the next time you have some guests over and you’ll be getting requests for the recipe left and right!
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 Tbs. jarred diced pimentos, drained
- 2 Tbs. mayonnaise, Helmans or Duke's preferred
- crackers, for serving
- Stir together cheese and pimentos in a small bowl. Add in mayonnaise and stir until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Serve with crackers
*For more information on pimento cheese, this article from The Indy is quite interesting.