|Type||Spread or relish|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Cheddar cheese or processed cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos|
|Cookbook: Pimento cheese Media: Pimento cheese|
Pimento cheese is a common food preparation in the Southern United States, a spread or relish made with cheese. It is affectionately known as "The caviar of the South." The basic recipe has few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese or processed cheese (such as Velveeta or American cheese), mayonnaise, pimentos, salt and pepper, blended to either a smooth or chunky paste. Regional ingredients include cream cheese, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeños, onions, garlic, and dill pickles.
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Pimento cheese can be served as a spread on crackers or celery, scooped onto corn chips or tortilla chips, mixed in with mashed yolks for deviled eggs, added to grits, or slathered over hamburgers or hotdogs. Pimento cheese can also be used to replace the sliced cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. In southeastern Missouri, particularly Cape Girardeau county, it is a local delicacy to put it on sliced barbecue pork sandwiches called "Combo 'Cues."
A pimento cheese sandwich may be a quick and inexpensive lunch for children, or it may be served as a cocktail finger food (with crusts trimmed, garnished with watercress, and cut into triangles) or rolled up and cut into pinwheels. It is also a common snack in the Philippines, where it is referred to as cheese pimento.
In popular culture
- Pimento cheese sandwiches are a signature item at the Masters Tournament. Minor controversy ensued in 2013 when the Augusta National Golf Club switched food suppliers for the Masters but were unable to duplicate the recipe used by the previous supplier, resulting in a sandwich with a markedly different taste.
- Better Call Saul Season 1 episode 9 is titled "Pimento" because fixer Mike Ehrmantraut brings a pimento cheese sandwich to a bodyguard job instead of a weapon. By way of explanation, he repeats the adage that pimento is the "caviar of the South," which Thomas Schnauz, episode writer, admits was sourced from Wikipedia itself. In the Breaking Bad episode "Cornered" (the events of which take place several years after the "Better Call Saul" episode) Mike also offers a pimento cheese sandwich to Jesse Pinkman when they are on a stakeout together.
Product lines and brands
- "The Caviar of the South: Pimento Cheese".
- "Pimento Dip: The Caviar of the South".
- "Caviar of the South (pimento cheese)". 2015-02-04.
- "Serve Carolina Caviar (Pimento Cheese) For the Game". 2010-01-20.
- "Pimento Cheese: It's A Southern Thing". NPR, Wright Bryan, January 17, 2007.
- Pimiento Cheese: One of Life's Simple Pleasures
- NPR: Pimiento Cheese: It's a Southern Thing
- Homemade Cheese Pimiento in a Philippine online recipe database
- "Perfecting pimento: gourmet gives us our own recipe". Golf Digest. 2003.
- Augusta Georgia: Features:Pimiento cheese is soul food of the South 04/14/02
- Thompson, Wright (April 11, 2013). "A sandwich stumper at the Masters". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Better Call Saul Insider Podcast - 1x09 - Pimento - Jonathan Banks (Mike) & Michael Mando (Nacho)". Better Call Saul Insider Podcast (Podcast). 2015. Event occurs at 26:00.