11 October 2018

Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic

Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches and, in this case, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

Pimento Cheese (pimento is pronounced puh-MIN-uh, by the way wink wink) is an iconic Southern food that's been around for over a hundred years, but my Southern grandmother never mentioned it; I had to learn it on my own! There are many variations, but it's basically shredded sharp or medium Cheddar, mayonnaise and pimientos. 

Delicious on a hamburger, hot dog or bacon sandwich, it's more often just slapped on some soft white bread for a quick sandwich, cold or toasted. Apparently, you can also stuff celery with it, spread it on crackers or dip tortilla chips in it. But I only ever seem to serve it with crudités or in tea sandwiches.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

It "must" be made with real mayonnaise. Many Southern cooks swear by Duke’s mayonnaise, but I have to make do with Hellmann’s/ Best Foods or my Homemade Mayonnaise. Duke's is still made in Greenville, South Carolina, and sold throughout the South. Sticklers for authenticity can always do mail order!

Purists may not add anything to the basic ingredients, but I can't resist a little dill pickle and dill pickle juice along with black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. You can add a few chopped green olives, red wine vinegar, Tabasco or 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. Does your family have a pimento cheese tradition? Would you like to start one? I’d love to hear your thoughts on pimento cheese.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches / www.delightfulrepast.com

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
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 In a 2- to 2.5-quart mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients until well blended. Leave it a little chunky, as I do, or use an immersion blender to make it as smooth as you like. Transfer to serving bowl and cover. Chill for a few hours or up to one week.


Pimento Cheese - Pimiento Cheese - A Southern Classic - for dips, spreads, sandwiches, tea sandwiches

2 Serve with a crudités platter, crackers, tortillas chips or bread. Spread on hamburgers, hot dogs or bacon sandwiches. Use it to make a cold or toasted cheese sandwich or, as I have here, tea sandwiches.

Jean

52 comments:

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Jean! I've never had pimento cheese sandwiches, dip, or anything else but it does sound good. I love cheese! A dip with a veggie tray really appeals to me. With more family around for Christmas this year, this might be something I could serve. Thanks for sharing.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

What? No “t” in pimento (pimiento). How can you not pronounce the “t”? I thought you were big into tea everything. I’m a sucker for buying exotic cheeses. Put something sweet or fiery into a cheese, call it Red Dragon or whatever and say it’s on sale at $19.9999999/lb and I stock up. Dunno why. It all tastes pretty much the same to me. Like cheese, ya know? Ah, me, no matter…I’m just talkin’ to hear my teeth cheddar.

Louca por porcelana said...

It looks great!Hugs,Jean!

Margie said...

My parents love pimento. I've enjoyed pimento sandwiches, but have never tried it with burgers, hot dogs or veggies. Thanks for the visit, Jean.

Grace said...

My husband would like that - except for the pimento, pickles, cayenne, worcestershire - You know just cheese and mayonnaise- his two favorite things! LOL

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

My Mama and her sisters always made Pimiento Cheese and served it with crackers and crudites. They always added olives to theirs as well which is why I never cared for it, unless I could get them to save me some before that addition! I'm a cheese lover and do like Pimiento Cheese sans olives. They always used Dukes as it was imperative! Your recipe looks quite familiar and brings back memories of eating it on the beach with these crazy aunts of mine. ♥

ellen b. said...

I've been off the grid for a long while but it's nice to pop in here today. Now pass me a tea sandwich...pretty please.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi, it will be interesting to see how it goes over with your family at the holidays!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, sounds like you're a prime candidate for pimento cheese! Give it a try and let me know!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Maristella. Hugs.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie. Sounds like you should whip up a batch for your parents!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Grace, well, he's not wrong -- just the cheese and mayo is pretty tasty, too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, I love things that remind us all of our crazy aunts! :-) My husband is very fond of green olives, so he would probably like this even more with olives. But, like you, I'll skip the olives in my PC.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ellen, yes, you've been off the grid, but you've had a lot going on! Thanks for stopping by. Wish I could take a plate of tea sandwiches over and tour the new place!

Nancy said...

I never understood the “Southern” reference to pimento cheese. It was a picnic staple in our house dating back to the 1940s and my parents never set foot below the Mason/Dixon line. Pennsylvanians all the way. Ours was made with the sharpest cheddar you could find (New York Sharp), sweet pickles with a bit of juice, hard boiled eggs, and pimentos all ground up with a clamp on the table hand grinder. The mayonnaise was mixed with equal parts vinegar and a bit of sugar, salt and pepper,and warmed so that when it was poured over the cheese mixture it helped to blend it all together. It wasn’t exactly smooth or chunky, just right. I never questioned the origin of the recipe and now there is no one to ask. When I moved to Florida, I couldn’t wait to try Dukes....hated it and ended up throwing it away. Had a weird off taste. But then I can’t eat cilantro either. This is my favorite comfort food of all time. If you liked it, you knew the right proportions and could tell by sight if the ingredients were balanced. I never saw a written version. I like it on a freshly baked sandwich bun with a thin slice of tomato, onion and lettuce or in a toasted bread sandwich. I have tried it as a dip or cracker spread but not the best option for me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Nancy, one source I read said that pimento cheese actually got its start up North, in New York! But I guess it went over so big in the South that it's come to be associated with the South. I'll have to try Duke's someday and see if it lives up to the hype! (I do love cilantro, but I'm told it tastes off, even soapy, to some people.) I like the sound of "on a freshly baked sandwich bun with a thin slice of tomato!"

Angie Schneider said...

I've never had pimento cheese sandwiches!! Wish I could reach in and grab one :-)

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Oh, how I love pimiento cheese! We used to buy horrid jars of it when I was a kid, and I loved it. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that my sister-in-law (a true southern belle) made it for me from scratch. What a difference. I look forward to asking your recipe and having some lovely tea sandwiches!

Cranberry Morning said...

Well well. So funny that I was just talking to someone about word pronunciation! My family is not from the South, so we've missed out on the authentic puhmenna cheese thing entirely, lol, for my grandma gave us open face rye sandwiches with pimento cheese (from the store!) with sliced green olives on the top. I thought it was the most delicious thing ever!! Little did I know that she was feeding us a counterfeit! But she did make the most authentic and wonderful minced meat pies (from beef she had canned) and heavenly home-canned raspberry sauce. PS. My daughter says she "jarred" it, not canned it. :-)

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I do love a good pimento cheese sandwich, Jean, and yes, stuffed into the cavity of celery stalks. Thanks for sharing your version. I have bought Duke's mayo, as it can be found in some grocery stores here in Texas. Happy weekend to you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. Maybe you could try them at one of your tea socials at work!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, thank you. I hope you like them! The pimento cheese is also great on quesadillas, by itself or with chicken.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, I thought anything my grandma fed me was the most delicious thing ever! I'd love to have some home-canned raspberry sauce on hand. And even though I call the process "canning," I would probably call the sauce "jarred." (In Utah, they--at least people I knew--say "bottled," as in "We bottled pears yesterday."

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kitty. I'll have to try it in the celery for my husband; he grew up with stuffed celery. And I might one day have to break out of my pattern and try some Duke's mayonnaise!

Ruth W said...

Really a classic, isn't it? A Southern fav tea sandwich. Perfect! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
Ruth

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Ruth. Love #TuesdayCuppaTea!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

I don't know about pimiento cheese--my brain taste buds say everything but the pimento sounds good. Perhaps it's because I'm a Northwest Northerner. My mother, 'a 5th generation Washingtonian (DC)' loved to make Chicken a la King. I never liked it....I didn't like the pimentos. I may have to try the recipe without them. Love cheddar, dill pickles, hard boiled eggs. Cheers!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Go for it, Sue! You can call it Pimentoless Cheese!

Ann said...

This recipe sounds delicious! I'm definitely going to try it...Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ann! I hope you like it as much as we do!

Cheryl said...

My mom is making some sort of pimento cheese for our monthly birthday celebration this Sunday. I'll have to compare her recipe with yours.

I have never made pimento cheese. I suppose I am not truly southern. :)

Vee said...

This is the stuff that made me shudder as a child. Perhaps I need to get over my childish ways and give it another chance. It sounds perfectly delicious to me now. Having never had Duke’s, I am a Hellman’s gal.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, do please let me know how the two recipes compare.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, it's time to get the Hellman's out, Vee, and give pimento cheese another chance! :D

April J Harris said...

I haven't had Pimento Cheese in years, Jean! I do love it, and I'm so glad you shared your take on this classic. I can't wait to make it again soon! Sharing, including on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page later today. Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope you are having a great weekend!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much. AND for the social media shares - much appreciated. Love the #HearthAndSoul!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Now I could most definitely eat that at any time. I had no idea that this combination was a thing let alone a classic. I suppose the closest we get to it in England is potted cheese using butter (and sometimes sour cream) rather than mayo and flavoured with mustard.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, you're right - I forgot all about potted cheese! But the potted cheese is a smooth paste, and pimento cheese can be quite smooth but usually has a bit of texture. But butter, cheese and mustard -- can't go wrong there!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Jean,
We are Pimento Cheese Fans and your recipe looks delicious, wish I had a bowl of it for a sandwich right now! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you so much. Hope you're having a great week.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I LOVE this stuff! I always use extra cayenne pepper in mine, 'cause I love spicy. And although this is most excellent on a sandwich (or as a burger topping), I probably eat it as a dip most of the time. Or by the spoonful. :-) Fun post -- thanks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John! I eat it by the spoonful, too!

Lulu James said...

I love pimento cheese and remember making it from scratch as a girl for Sunday night church suppers for the youth. I enjoy using different types of cheese. Although cheddar is my favorite, I love almost every cheese I have ever tasted.
Thanks for visiting my blog, I plan to put a link for yours on my list of blogs I read.
Blessings, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Lulu. It's great connecting online again! I'm with you - I love all kinds of cheeses!

Jann Olson said...

It really does sound wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Pam Richardson said...

Jean, I love pimento cheese and it is a true Southern favorite! Every Southern girl should have a tried and true recipe for pimento cheese. Thank you for sharing yours. Can you believe my hubby doesn’t care for pimento cheese?

Mrs Mummy Harris said...

I've never heard of this kind of cheese but it sounds yummy to me! Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thank you. Love SYC!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pam, thank you. Be sure to have him try a bite every year or two. Tastes change. One day he'll try it and say "Where have you been all my life, PC?!" And try him out on different textures--as you can see, my cheese is very coarsely grated, but some people like it blended smooth.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lianne, thank you. I think the closest thing you have to it in England is potted cheese, but they're really quite different things.

Lucy At Home Blog said...

I have never heard of this before. I think maybe it's not reached the UK yet? But it sounds interesting - my hubby loves cheese so I think he'd really enjoy it #blogcrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Lucy. I think the closest thing you have to it in the UK is potted cheese, but they're entirely different. Potted cheese is smooth, pimento cheese is often chunkier. Potted cheese has butter, pimento cheese has mayonnaise. You should make a batch for him and let me know how he liked it!

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