It must, or so I'm told, be made with real mayonnaise. Many Southern cooks swear by Duke's mayonnaise, but I have to make do with Best Foods/Hellman's. Duke's is still made in Greenville, South Carolina, and sold throughout the South. I suppose the rest of us could do mail-order if we wanted to be sticklers for authenticity!
Purists may not add anything to the basic ingredients, but I couldn't resist a little dill pickle and dill pickle juice along with black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. And I think next time I'll throw in a few chopped green olives. You can add red wine vinegar or Tabasco. I'm a huge fan of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, so I might have to give that a try in the next batch. Some like it blended smooth, but I'm among those who prefer it a little chunky.
This afternoon I spread a thin layer on Oroweat Country Buttermilk bread, topped it with another slice, trimmed off the crusts and cut it into tiny tea sandwiches to go with a pot of Earl Grey tea. Another Delightful Repast! I'd love to hear your thoughts on pimento cheese.
Update 12/07/16: For how to throw an afternoon tea party and a roundup of afternoon tea recipes, see Afternoon Tea Party Tips.
Pimento Cheese (Pimiento Cheese)
(Makes 3 cups)
1 pound medium or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and diced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In 2-quart bowl, stir together all ingredients until well blended. Transfer to serving bowl and cover. Chill for a few hours or up to one week. Serve with crackers, tortillas chips, bread or celery sticks.