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Pimento Cheese – A Southern Classic

My mother’s cooking usually revolved around feeding a family of seven. Cooking three meals a day took time and work but she did it with the practiced ease of one who has mastered her skill as a wonderful Southern cook. Her Sunday dinners often included other family members and friends, but the menu didn’t change from what we would have without company.

Party food was primarily reserved for holidays, birthdays, the occasional baby shower or a wedding tea. She had several recipes for these occasions, but the one I remember best was her pimento cheese finger sandwiches. Always made on soft white bread, with the crusts neatly removed and cut into little squares, triangles or strips, I thought they were so fancy

Mother’s pimento cheese was made with grated cheese, pimentos and mayonnaise. There were no twists on the classic for her. These days pimento cheese has become a Southern icon – a blank canvas for creative chefs and cooks to enhance with jalapenos, cayenne pepper, seafood, herbs and made with various cheeses, like American or goat.

My pimento cheese is still pretty basic. I recently needed something to take to a party and happened to have a pre-shredded combination of cheddar that I bought because I had a coupon. Combined with pimento, mayonnaise, a little mustard, I added fresh ground pepper and served it with crisply toasted slices of a baguette I had in the freezer. It was a big hit and inspired a lot of pimento cheese memories.
I’d love to hear your pimento cheese memories, too.

2 Comments

  1. Teresa says

    Just the other day I taught my grown son my pimiento cheese recipe so he can make it himself:

    12 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (only sharp, no medium, no mild, no American)
    4 oz jar of diced pimientos, with liquid from the jar
    1/2 t salt
    1 t sugar
    1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise (only Duke’s in my house)
    optional: dash of cayenne pepper

    This is the same type of recipe my mother makes and what I grew up eating. In my little town of Burlington, North Carolina we seem to have a pimiento cheese mecca! I can count 5 local sources of PC if I want to buy it. One store that makes their own has a version with jalapenos in it – fantastic!

    Have you made pimiento cheese biscuits? Mix up your favorite biscuit recipe, mixing just enough to bring the dough together then add in some dollops of pimiento cheese and blend them in briefly so you have clumps of PC throughout the dough. Make drop biscuits or quickly roll out the dough and cut biscuit rounds and bake per the recipe. Yummy!

    • lindacarmanblog says

      Teresa, Thank you so much for sending your pimento cheese recipe! Sounds a lot like my mother’s – pure, simple and delicious! Can’t wait to try your biscuits.

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