Growing up, I thought pimento cheese was disgusting. I guess it was because the only kind I ever ate was from a plastic tub in the grocery store that had been sitting there for who knows how long. It was pink and overly mayonnaise-y, had no distinctive taste (especially not of cheese) and was just grody all around.
One year, I went to a July 4th picnic and someone brought homemade pimento cheese — a revelation. You could see cheese in it, the pimiento wasn’t overpowering and it had a hint of garlic. That was the first time I realized there was another kind of pimento cheese.
I’m not sure why it’s a southern staple (or why we spell it wrong), but you’ll find pimento cheese on menus and in homes all over the South. The classic way to eat it is sandwiched between two slices of white bread, but you’ll also see it stuffed into celery sticks, in grilled cheese or melted atop a burger. Yum. I prefer to eat it with something crunchy for texture, so I serve mine with Triscuits. Something about the salty crunch with creamy cheese just works. Keep reading »