Lemonade on the porch, tiny pimento cheese sandwiches cut carefully into small triangles— does it get more Southern than this? Now granted, you don’t have to cut sandwiches into triangles or even spread the pimento on bread. Pimento cheese is fantastic on cucumber slices, crackers, celery sticks, and pretzels. It’s a versatile filler with a punch of color that kids love and a kick to the tastebuds that grownups can appreciate.
Sometimes called the “caviar of the South,” Good Housekeeping first promoted this delectable delight in 1908. Serious Eats did a deep dive (From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese (seriouseats.com)) on the history of Pimento Cheese and discovered the concoction was invented in New York, but gained popularity in the 1920s thanks, in part, to Pomona Products Company, a pimento growing, roasting, and canning company in Griffen, Ga. It fell out of favor after WWII, but thanks to nostalgia from professional chefs and a growing interest in Southern foods, Pimento Cheese is once again available from your local grocer or favorite deli.
- 1 lb of High-quality Sharp Yellow Cheddar
- ½ Small Jar of Pimento
- 1 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
- Touch of Salt
- Touch of Garlic Powder
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- ½ Lemon Zest
- Splash of Hot Sauce (to your liking)
Grind cheddar cheese in a food processor. Transfer the grated cheese to a bowl and add remaining ingredients and mix. Serve with fresh tomatoes and crackers (or get crazy and try a spoonful on a hamburger!).