The Many Faces of Pimento Cheese | culture: the word on cheese
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The Many Faces of Pimento Cheese

pimento cheese platter

Pimento cheese is a feel-good classic. And there’s a reason it has stuck around so long: easy to make and delicious atop just about anything, the retro four-ingredient spread is sure to be a crowd pleaser. We’ve seen it in served in so many different ways: spread atop crackers, in a grilled cheese, used as the base for a pizza, even stuffed in a sandwich with crispy fried pickles!

Just as everyone has a favorite way to serve this tried-and-true Southern staple, everyone has a slightly different recipe as well. Who knew there were so many variations of the cheese-mayo-sweet pepper combination? Some use different varieties of cheese (Monterey Jack instead of sharp cheddar, for instance), and others like to spice things up with the addition of garlic or onions.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to travel to the South to try a taste of pimento cheese. Blogger Two for the Moon offers up her mother’s recipe for pimento cheese in this post, citing its importance in their relationship:

After preschool she would take me to William’s Drug Store to get griddle-toasted pimento cheese sandwiches. On road trips we’d have pimento cheese in the cooler. For my wedding shower I requested my mom’s homemade pimento cheese cut into classic triangle tea sandwiches. Even now with little Willa Claire on my hip we’ve hashed out motherhood’s greatest issues over pimento cheese and saltines.

It’s hard to not want to try a food loaded with that much nostalgia. Follow the basic recipe linked above, or try something a little more outside the box, like this recipe from Wright Bryan (via NPR) which uses both cheddar and Jack cheeses, garlic, and dill pickles. Bon appetit! 

Photo by Two for the Moon

Alicia Hahn

Alicia Hahn excels at eating and enjoys writing, crosswords, and cooking (preferably with cheese). Originally from San Francisco, she moved to Boston for school and fell in love with the city (despite an annual campaign against winter). Her favorite place to be is the farmers’ market, where she finds weird and exciting ingredients to make or break her next meal.