Pimento Cheese - The Pâté 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 1890s when processed food like cream cheese became available, but adapted and embraced by the South by the 1940s, 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 spread. It 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 Benedictine spread on crustless white bread cut into triangles.
Pimento cheese recipe (courtesy of the Bourbon & Biscuits - watch below):
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 10 oz. tub of whipped cream cheese
- 1 4-ounce jar pimentos, chopped
- 1-4 T Frank’s Hot Sauce – to personal taste
Mix together cheeses and hot sauce to taste. Fold in pimentos. Serve with pretzels, crackers, corn chips, etc, or as a sandwich spread or potato or burger topping. Keeps well in fridge as a go-to condiment.