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Archive for the ‘extra sharp cheddar’

Pimento Cheese 0

Posted on August 06, 2018 by Sahar

As a couple, Husband Steve & I have been together for 26 years. However, I didn’t know until about 6 months ago he liked pimento cheese. It’s nice how we can still surprise each other.

Growing up, I distinctly remember the containers of Prices Pimento Spread my mom would bring home from the grocery.  I think I liked it; I can’t remember now.  What I do remember is that until about 2 months ago, I hadn’t eaten pimento cheese spread in any quantity for at least 30 years.

As part of growing up in the South, many – if not most – households had/have pimento cheese spread in their regular food rotation.  It was always just there; you didn’t really question it.  It was a dish that was (and still is) proudly Southern and no doubt has as many subtle variations as there are Southern memaws.

So, imagine my surprise when I came across this article in Serious Eats about where Pimento Cheese really originated.  New York.  Yes, New York.  The author, Robert Ross, wrote: “What surprised me most at the time was discovering that this gooey concoction of shredded cheese, mayo, and diced red pimentos—a blend now considered one of the quintessential Southern foods—was actually invented somewhere else. After all, writers have called pimento cheese “a major southern institution,” something that is “held sacred by Southerners” and is “so ingrained in the lives of many Southerners that we don’t realize our passion for the stuff doesn’t exist outside the region.” How could pimento cheese, this most Southern of foods, possibly have been born outside the South?”

No, pimento cheese got its start up North—in New York, in fact—as a product of industrial food manufacturing and mass marketing. Its story is one of redemption, of a wayward factory child adopted by a good Southern family, scrubbed up nice, and invited to Sunday dinner.”

Indeed.  Seriously, read the article.  It’s fascinating.


I decided to come up with my own recipe so I could keep Steve in a constant supply of pimento cheese instead of buying it from the deli case at my local HEB. I mean, I figured, how hard could it be? It wasn’t.

I think of the combination of the cheeses as an homage to my Aunt Cathy.  There is a grocer, Marketplace, in Dallas, that makes one she loved with smoked gouda. Yup, the quintessentially ’70’s cheese.

As always, play with the ingredients however you like.  Because I like a stronger flavored cheese, I went with all sharp cheddar to go along with the gouda. Some recipes use onion powder, garlic powder, mustard (jarred or dried), milder cheeses, and even chopped jalapeño.


The Ingredients

1/3 c. shredded extra sharp cheddar

1/3 c. shredded medium or sharp cheddar

1/3 c. shredded smoked gouda

1/4 c. mayonnaise

2 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/3 c. roasted red bell peppers, chopped fine


1/3 c. pimento, chopped fine (if needed)

1 tbsp. finely minced onion

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional (or to taste)

Few drops lemon juice, optional (or to taste)


In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the cayenne, lemon, and salt.  Taste for seasoning.  If you would like to add the cayenne, lemon, and salt, add to taste and mix again.

Ready for the fridge.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic or place in an airtight container.  Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Taste for seasoning again and serve.  Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Ready to eat my favorite way; on crackers.


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