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The Pate’ of the South

In the words of Southern Living magazine, it’s “the best thing to happen to the sandwich, well, since sliced bread!”

Born in the North in the late 1890’s when processed food like cream cheese became available, but adapted and embraced by the South by the 1940’s, Pimento Cheese is a fixture on Louisville menus.

Every good Kentucky cook has their own version and it’s frequently paired on tables with its Louisville-born cousin, Benedictine.

The spread first came to be when Northerners paired the new “cream cheese” with jarred pimento peppers.  Southern cooks switched it up a bit swapping homemade mayonnaise with shredded cheddar or other cheeses.

Today, versions are seen with mayonnaise or cream cheese, shredded cheese, pimentos and various spices blended to either a smooth or chunky paste. The spread is most often served as a sandwich or on crackers, celery or chips. And of course there is the tried-and-true bridal shower display of alternating Pimento Cheese and Bendectine spread on crustless white bread cut into triangles.

Pimento cheese recipe (courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Museum cookbook):

  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimentos, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Mix together all of the ingredients. Chill for several hours before serving. Serve with thin wheat crackers, or corn chips, or as a sandwich spread.

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Crescent Hill Craft House
2636 Frankfort Avenue
(502) 895-9400
Try the pimento cheese that's part of the Backwoods Trip app alongside Benedictine and Ham Salad.

The Cheddar Box
3909 Chenoweth Square
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 893-2324

12121 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 245-2622

Morris’ Deli
2228 Taylorsville Road
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 458-1668

Finns Southern Kitchen
1318 McHenry St
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 708-2984

Garage Bar
700 E. Market Street
Triple-decker pimento cheese sandwich on the snack menu.

Germantown Craft House
1030 Goss Ave
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 749-3929

1001 Baxter Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204

Paul’s Fruit Market

4946 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, KY. 40222
(502) 426-5070

12119 Shelbyville Road
Middletown, KY 40243
(502) 253-0072

3905 Chenoweth Square
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 896-8918

4601 Jennings Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
(502) 426-5059

Mussel & Burger Bar 
9200 Taylorsville Road
Louisville, KY 40299
(502) 384-4834

113 S. 7th St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 749-6451

Sidebar at Whiskey Row
129 S. 2nd St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 384-1600

350 West Chestnut Street
Rooftop of Hilton Garden Inn
Hot out of the oven pimento cheese hushpuppies with jalapeno sauce.

Wagner’s Pharmacy
3113 S. 4th St.
Louisville, KY 40214
(502) 375-3800