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Pimento Cheese (Long)

p
Pssst Jun 9, 2004 12:58 PM

Growing up in Texas, we always had a tub of pimento cheese in the fridge. I’d get home from school, get a slice of bread, spread some pimento cheese on half, fold it over and have myself a snack. It never occurred to me that people would do anything else with pimento cheese, that there was more than one recipe and that pimento cheese was not cheap and plentiful everywhere.

Skip ahead many years to San Francisco. Shockingly, neither tubs of pre-made pimento cheese nor pimento cheese sandwiches were available in every corner store. Jonesing for a pimento cheese fix one day but realizing I had never paid any attention when she made it, I called my mom. Sure enough, she laughed when I asked for a pimento cheese recipe -“All you do is git yourself a block of government cheese, grind it up, add pimentos and enough mayo to make it spreadable.” Aaaah, it was as simple as that and I ate happily until…

Skip ahead to October 2003 when Southern Foodways Alliance held its Pimento Cheese Invitational. They collected over 300 recipes and stories about Pimento Cheese. They crowned a the winner “Pimento Cheese Queen”. They published a book of the recipes which they gave to attendants at that year’s food symposium. Luckily, a friend of mine got a hold of the recipe book. I just finished reading it.

I am shocked I tell you, shocked.

You would not believe what people out there are doing with pimento cheese!!! I’m a fairly imaginative as well as open-minded but, well, there’s some crazy inventive people out there.

Here’s what I learned -

Classic Pimento Cheese – cheese, pimentos & mayo. People use everything from 100% velveeta to blends of multiple cheeses to 100% cheddar. There’s even some people out there using cream cheese (but I suspect they’re yankees). Cheese grating techniques varied from hand-grating to using a meat grinder. The controversy around pimentos seemed mostly to center around the “To drain or not to drain” question. Mayo choices were all over the board – from home-made to Hellman’s to Duke’s to…gasp…Miracle Whip.

But once people veered from the classic, they scattered in all directions. I was, and still am, amazed at the diversity of ingrediants and techniques used to make something. Especially, since I’ve only made it one way my whole life….

Ingrediants

Special Seasonings – A lot of people add a little something extra to their pimento cheese such as one or more of the following in various amounts and combinations: red pepper; paprika; cayenne pepper; chili powder; various brands of hot sauce; Worcestershire sauce; dry mustard; various brands of prepared mustards; salt; garlic salt; celery salt; onion salt; white pepper; black pepper; vinegar; sweet pickle vinegar; rice vinegar; red wine vinegar; cider vinegar; lemon juice; sugar; garlic powder; milk; Pet milk; soy sauce; celery seed; dried oregano; Durkee’s and dried dill.

Additional Ingredients - A number of people not only add special seasonings but also extra ingredients in small amounts such as one or more of the following in various combinations: green onions; white onion; yellow onion; Vidalia onion; (chopped or grated) onion; garlic; pimento stuffed olives; cream-style horseradish; sweet pickles; chopped pecans; scallions; chopped green chilies; onion relish; margarine; evaporated milk

Extenders (Yikes! We never did this….) - Since cheese is the most expensive ingredient, a number of people include one or more ingredients in larger amounts designed to stretch their batch of PC – chopped or grated boiled eggs; chopped sweet pickles; bacon bits; crackers; saltines; dill pickles; Ritz crackers; chopped green olives; jerkins; butter

Cheese Blends – Like I said before people use all sorts of cheese in their PC and a number of them use their own special blends. Here’s the list of cheese people put in their recipes: government cheese, cream cheese, rat cheese, mild cheddar, meduim chedder, sharp cheddar, colby, cottage cheese, white cheddar, swiss. The brands most often quoted seemed to be Velveeta, Cracker Barrel & Cabot.

The Stove - While most people seem to grate or grind their ingredients, there’s some folk who use heat – either a double-boiler or saucepan straight on the stove to melt their cheese before adding in the other ingredients so as to get a very smooth texture.

Beyond the White Bread Sandwich

People were also very diverse with what they did with their finished product, Pimento Cheese. Beyond the white bread sandwich, they turned it into a dip, stuffed celery, made grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, added all sorts of things to their sandwiches, and in one case – made a PIMENTO CHEESE CAKE!?!

I feel like the veil has been lifted!

I’ve begun experimenting with my Momma’s recipe. So far, I really like the variation that I made with Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce and roasted garlic. I didn’t like it at all the version with Worcestershire sauce. The mustard version I made was okay, but not great.

I loved, loved, loved making grilled pimento cheese sandwiches – I can’t believe I never thought of it before.

I'm enjoying my Pimento Cheese journey and will love being able to hand down MY recipe.

Long Live Pimento Cheese!!

Link: http://www.southernfoodways.com/

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  1. c
    Coyote Jun 9, 2004 01:03 PM

    What a great, interesting post! Hope you share the results of your investigations, would like to try making the ultimate myself! Now, what the heck are rat cheese and government cheese?

    22 Replies
    1. re: Coyote
      p
      Pssst Jun 9, 2004 01:41 PM

      Both are phrases used by older or previous generations than myself, but here's what I understand them to mean.

      Government Cheese - The goverment used to give out cardboard boxes of food to welfare people on the first of the month. They got the food from subsiding farmers and food producers. Often yellow cheese was in the food box but it was unlabeled so people just called it Government Cheese.

      Rat Cheese - Is a similar idea. Before the massive branding that is our life now, you just went into a store and bought a inexpensive yellow cheese that as well as eating, you used to bait your mouse traps.

      1. re: Pssst
        r
        Ruth Lafler Jun 9, 2004 03:10 PM

        My Dad still calls cheap yellow cheese "rat cheese" -- he likes his with pickles, but being a California girl I don't know nuttin about no pimento cheese.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          j
          Jeremy newel Jun 9, 2004 08:55 PM

          Kraft used to make pimento cheese and sold it in little glasses that had flowers on them. I remember having it at my grandmother's house in San Mateo CA during WWII. She put it on Ritz crackers, to be served with drinks. My, I haven't thought of that in a very long time.

          1. re: Jeremy newel
            d
            Donna - MI Jun 9, 2004 10:01 PM

            I was buying cheese the other day at my supermarket and in with the Cheez Whiz and Velveeta were little jars of Kraft Pimento cheese - like in a juice glass size. Also Kraft Roka Blue Cheese spread - in the same little glass jar - very good also.

            But I'm sure this pimento cheese is not as good as homemade. D.

            1. re: Donna - MI
              b
              Betty Jun 10, 2004 03:49 PM

              Hmm, I don't think thats quite the same thing - what we get is shredded cheese and mayo and pimentos in plastic tubs in the refridgerated dairy section. We get those same little jars of myserious cheeses, like pineapple and old english, but not the pimento kind.

            2. re: Jeremy newel
              Will Owen Feb 25, 2011 01:56 PM

              Kraft used to make a LOT of soft cheese items and sell them in little jars, which people like my grandma would buy and use to make twee little sandwiches for their bridge club, probably cutting them out with heart, spade, club and diamond cookie cutters. In addition to the pimento, they had an Old English sharp cheddar, plain Neufchatel and (my favorite) pineapple Neufchatel. (Okay, I just read Betty's post - where do you live? I swear I've not seen this stuff in stores since the mid-'60s!)

              Ruth, Mrs. O is a California girl, too, but in Nashville (possibly the Pimento Cheese Capital of the World) she developed a taste for this stuff, kind of astounding when you know how very much she loathes pimentos or any other sweet pepper. Whenever we go back for a visit she has to get her pimento-cheese fix. Preferably homemade, though she will accept some Mrs. Grissom's.

              1. re: Will Owen
                s
                Scream Aug 31, 2012 09:15 PM

                Will, I remember living in North Carolina in the mid-70's and eating that Pineapple Neufchatel with my friend at her house.

                1. re: Will Owen
                  l
                  Leepa Sep 1, 2012 05:26 AM

                  Mrs. O should try to find some Palmetto Cheese. Best commercial PC that I've ever had. Not as good as my homemade, but damn good.

                  http://www.pimentocheese.com/

            3. re: Pssst
              b
              Betty Jun 9, 2004 03:30 PM

              A classmate of mine back in grad school was from NYC and had pimento cheese sandwiches at a reception and came back to the studio raving about them like they were some new thing, so refreshing and pure. She described them in detail and I said, oh, pimento cheese on white bread we make those all the time in Oklahoma. She insisted I didn't know what I was talking about, because how could a dumb Okie know about something so good when a New Yorker didn't know about it? That was not possible in her universe. I still think she thought I was lying.

              1. re: Betty
                f
                fat kitty Jun 9, 2004 04:34 PM

                that is hilarious! (and sad, for her)

              2. re: Pssst
                c
                CyndiA Feb 20, 2011 07:23 PM

                Government cheese (subsidized) was also, back in the day, provided to retired persons. Both my maternal grandparents and my widowed paternal grandmother were given a big block of yellow cheese free on a regular basis. They could not eat all that cheese so passed it along.

                The schools in the area also got cheese as well as rice from the government. I think the cheese was served grated with tacos mostly at the schools. The rice could be added as an extra side dish to any plate at no charge and without another side being eliminated.

                1. re: CyndiA
                  l
                  lemons Feb 25, 2011 06:08 AM

                  The cheese was part of what was referred to as "commodities" and every month, after proving eligibility to the program, one went to the place where it was disbursed and collected various things, some of which were not constant, and others, like the cheese, were. Much of it was surplus from things like the dairy subsidies, which meant large 2-lb. cans of butter, powdered milk, and the cheese. I also recall dried beans, canned vegetables and cans of what was labeled beef, precooked and chunked/shredded, but was awfully red. My then-husband had left me with two small children and no job, and I was struggling to get through nursing school, and if it hadn't been for Aid to Dependent Children and commodities, I (as I said once before on CH) would not have spent 30 years taking care of patients and their families.

                  The commodities program was replaced by food stamps.

                  1. re: lemons
                    s
                    sueatmo Feb 25, 2011 06:27 PM

                    Actually, indigent people can still get commodities. At least they can in MO.

                    1. re: sueatmo
                      l
                      lemons Sep 2, 2012 06:54 AM

                      Not every where - we can't in St. Louis and St. Louis County, certainly.

              3. re: Coyote
                p
                Pssst Jun 9, 2004 01:54 PM

                Well, here's a good start for you.

                Below is the winning recipe from the Pimento Cheese Invitational as posted on the Charleston website (I can post a recipe that is available online elsewhere, yes?).

                Also note that the link below (registration required) gives information about how to order your own Pimento Cheese Invitational Cookbook which I highly recommend, mostly for the stories that people wrote.

                Lella's Pimento Cheese
                Cheddar cheese, grated, about 1/2 a food processor full
                1 small jar whole pimentos
                Dash onion powder
                Dash red pepper
                Dash Worcestershire sauce
                Pinch sugar (less than 1/4 teaspoon)
                Homemade mayonnaise (recipe follows)
                Blend grated cheese and pimento in food processor until well-blended. Add mayonnaise as needed, blend again, add other ingredients, blend. The pimento cheese is a solid color and you cannot see the pimentos once blended.

                Lella's Mayonnaise
                1 egg
                1 cup oil (add 1/4 in the beginning, reserve 3/4 cup)
                1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
                Dash cayenne
                1/2 teaspoon salt
                1 tablespoon lemon juice
                Onion powder to taste
                Place all ingredients in food processor (or blender), reserving 3/4 cup oil. Add remaining oil slowly while processing (we use the metal blade on the processor).

                Davis adds, "My processor is old, but the tool to push food in the processor has a tiny hole to allow air in. (I don't know if they all do.) My sister-in-law, Libby Griffin discovered this trick while learning to make Lella's mayonnaise. If you put the pusher in the opening and pour your oil in the pusher -- it allows a tiny constant stream of oil to be added to the mayonnaise while you are processing. Using this method, we never have the mayonnaise separate."

                Link: http://www.charleston.net/stories/051...

                1. re: Pssst
                  mamachef Feb 20, 2011 06:28 AM

                  Now that THERE's a recipe for pahmenna cheese. We like ours on burgers, with fresh ripe tomato and lettuce. We stuff it into celery and olives and cherry tomatoes. We mix it with hot cooked pasta for a fast, delicious dinner. And we make pahmennapops, whereby you insert an iced-tea spoon into said tub o' deliciousness, scoop out a spoonful, and lick it off.
                  Oh, by the way.....the most successful burger we ever made was Elkburgers at a tailgate, and they were the perfect, slightly gamy foil for the tangy cheese.

                  1. re: mamachef
                    m
                    Mr. Haney Feb 20, 2011 01:29 PM

                    How can one stuff pimento cheese into olives? It doesn't seem possible!

                    1. re: Mr. Haney
                      mamachef Feb 20, 2011 10:07 PM

                      Big olives, small straight tip on small pastry bag.

                      1. re: mamachef
                        mariacarmen Feb 20, 2011 11:41 PM

                        is there anything you can't do? yum!

                    2. re: mamachef
                      suzigirl Nov 3, 2012 02:14 PM

                      Pahmennapops. Love it. I have had that before. I have also substituted a finger for the spoon. ;-p

                    3. re: Pssst
                      Will Owen Sep 1, 2012 03:37 PM

                      Pssst: According to the book that came with my Cuisinart - and this was a good 20 years ago - that little hole's primary purpose is to provide a metered flow of oil into the work bowl when making mayonnaise.

                    4. re: Coyote
                      b
                      Betty Jun 9, 2004 03:34 PM

                      At some point the government stockpiled a vast, seriously vast, quantity of cheese. It's "commodity cheese", and welfare recipients, Indians, and public school cafeterias got it monthly. Also really excellent peanut butter.

                      My middle school cafeteria still gets it and it is only, I repeat only, served with Chili and fresh cinnamon rolls, as God intended. (One of the most comforting things about going back to teach at the school where I grew up, with 20 years of absence in-between)

                    5. b
                      Browniebaker Jun 9, 2004 02:31 PM

                      Beautiful paean to pimento cheese!

                      I'm sending away for the cookbook.

                      I grew up in Tennessee with a tub of PC always in the fridge. Mine's pretty pure and sinple: pour the diced pimentos and their juice in a bowl, mash them well, grate extra-sharp cheddar into the bowl, stir in Hellman's, a little sugar, ground white pepper, and cayenne until it makes a chunky paste, and refrigerate for 24 hours to let flavors meld and texture firm up.

                      I think PC on white bread is the best food in the world, but I also eat PC on hamburgers, hot dogs, corn chips (as a dip), and spoons (the simplest).

                      But question: doesn't a grilled PC sandwich get too gooey and sloppy to hold as a sandwich? I'm a bit afraid to try it.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Browniebaker
                        p
                        Pssst Jun 9, 2004 02:38 PM

                        My grilled version out worked out fine. MY PC is really light on the mayo so maybe that helps?

                        But if you're scared here's a variation I do for company that works well also -

                        Toasted PC Sandwiches
                        1. bring PC to room temperature
                        2. toast bread
                        3. spread the toast with PC asap (should get a little melty)
                        4. put sandwich in low/just warm oven (will stay warm & melty)
                        5. repeat until you have enough for everyone!!

                        1. re: Pssst
                          b
                          Browniebaker Jun 9, 2004 02:58 PM

                          Thanks for the recipe!

                          You mention that your PC is light on mayo. My proportions are one pound grated cheese, two jars diced pimentos with juice, and 1/2 cup mayo. How much mayo is in your PC?

                          1. re: Browniebaker
                            p
                            Pssst Jun 9, 2004 03:10 PM

                            Honest I don't know. I like my PC to have strong cheese flavor and am very sensitive to "greasy mayo tongue" as I call it. I put it in by the spoonful mixing between each spoon. So maybe 2-4 spoons?

                            In my experience, the amount of mayo one puts in PC depends on two things:
                            1) Using the pimento juice. If you use the juice, you don't need as much mayo. I use the juice.
                            2) How spreadable do you want your PC?

                            In general, I tend to make my PC more stiff than what I grew up eating. Its more like cheese and less like dip if that makes sense?

                            1. re: Pssst
                              b
                              Betty Jun 9, 2004 03:22 PM

                              I make grilled pimento cheese also, with or without pimentos, usually light on the mayo for the sliding around issue, and with whatever cheese I have around. I think it is the only worthwhile use of American cheese.

                              Our great old local drugstore used to grill pimento cheese sandwiches when I was a kid and put a green olive on top. Wonderful stuff.

                              1. re: Pssst
                                b
                                Browniebaker Jun 9, 2004 03:23 PM

                                How much mayo is something I keep playing with in my PC. I started out with four tablespoons per pound of cheese and two jars pimentos with juice. A relatively stiff mixture. Then one day I doubled the mayo and, being a mayo fanatic, was in heaven. This amount of mayo does, however, increase the ooze-factor when serving at room temperature (which I think is the best). Of course, how much ooze is optimal would be another question . . . .

                                Maybe I'll go back to the stiffer mix for a try, and to try a grilled PC sandwich.

                                I think about PC way too much!

                        2. c
                          Candy Jun 9, 2004 02:46 PM

                          I think my grandmother was out of pimentos one day and substituted roasted green chilies and we had a new family favorite. Made teh same way, grated longhorn, minced onion, a little minced garlic, chopped green chilies and Helman's to bind also a generous grinding of black pepper. We use is a a dip with Fritos, as sandwiches and sometimes just stand there and eat it out of the container.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Candy
                            s
                            Stephanie Jun 9, 2004 03:24 PM

                            I make mine the same way, except I use pickled jalapeno peppers instead of green chile peppers...

                          2. d
                            Dax Jun 9, 2004 02:54 PM

                            I love pimento cheese, hand shredded and made by my mom. But others (even mine) will do in a pinch as compared with that of store bought.

                            A grilled pimento cheese on buttered rye is a thing of wonder.

                            Also, the Varsity of Atlanta/Athens, GA fame was renowned for it's pimento cheese burgers. Greasy as all hell, but so delicious. No need for other condiments and I loved squeezing the burgers and running the fries/onion rings along the side to pick up the excess. It's a wonder I'm not 300 lbs.

                            1. f
                              fat kitty Jun 9, 2004 04:53 PM

                              i think i'm going to hv to try making some myself. i'm a cheese freak. so, how long does this stuff last in the fridge, generally-speaking (if you don't scarf it all down right away, that is)?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: fat kitty
                                p
                                Pssst Jun 9, 2004 08:27 PM

                                I think the longest I've ever had a batch was 2 weeks. So I'm just guessing that its however long your most delicate ingredient lasts.

                                The cheese should last a long time. The pimentos are pickled so those last a long time. So maybe its the mayo that would make it go bad? especially if you used home-made mayo.

                                1. re: fat kitty
                                  b
                                  Browniebaker Jun 10, 2004 09:19 AM

                                  The longest I've had a batch (made with Hellman's) in the fridge was four weeks, and it was fine. You'll know when it's bad by, first, the slimy sheeen and, subsequently, the furry mold.

                                  1. re: Browniebaker
                                    f
                                    fat kitty Jun 10, 2004 02:20 PM

                                    ha! thx for the advice. don't think it could possibly last that long w/out being eaten. but, good to know, if i want to make a really big batch!

                                2. e
                                  EP Jun 10, 2004 12:24 PM

                                  My pimento cheese history - As a child, I don't ever remember actually eating PC but I knew I hated it because my most vivid memory of PC was that it was what one of my friends had just finished eating before getting car sick and barfing all over the back seat of our VW bug as we drove from Reno up toward Donner Pass. It was summer time. It stunk for a long time. Eighteen years later, someone finally convinced me to try their homemade secret family recipe. I was hooked! I now eat all forms of PC, even store bought. The green chile suggestions have inspired me to make some with some jalapeno pepper cheese.

                                  1. m
                                    Mr. Haney Feb 20, 2011 03:56 AM

                                    Now this is a subject I can really sink my teeth into. Baha! (OK, OK, that was bad, wasn't it?)

                                    I spent years perfecting my recipe, which gets raves, and can give you 4 secrets to fabulous pimento cheese:

                                    1. Grate your own cheese. The pre-shredded junk is loaded with cellulose powder and doesn't contribute to a good spread texture or mouth feel. Addtionally, those are mediocre cheeses, anyway, and don't have as much flavor as high quality cheeses.
                                    2. I recommend Mario brand pimentos along with their juice. These pimentos are richer in color and flavor. The juice is richer than other brands, too, and adds lots of flavor and color to the spread. Mario also makes olive oil and olives.
                                    3. Use the best mayo possible, or homemade if you can. Hellmann's (a.k.a. Best Foods) isn't as good as it used to be, because it's now mostly water (the #2 ingredient after soybean oil). I recommend using Duke's, JFG, or homemade mayonnaise. Duke's is the closest thing to homemade on the market.
                                    4. Chill the pimento cheese overnight before the initial serving. Not only does it allow the ingredient flavors to come together, it will allow the spread to become firm, regardless how much mayo and pimento juice you used. The cheese acts like a sponge and absorbs liquid. (If you use pre-shedded, packaged cheese, you're probably doomed.) After this initial chilling, the spread should be perfect to serve at any temperature.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: Mr. Haney
                                      Sue in Mt P Feb 20, 2011 12:36 PM

                                      Thanks for reviving this thread!

                                      All good Southerners know-Duke's is the only mayo for PC. I'm gonna go grill me a sammich right now!

                                      1. re: Sue in Mt P
                                        m
                                        Mr. Haney Feb 20, 2011 01:31 PM

                                        Yeah, 7 years is long enough for a thread to remain dormant.

                                        1. re: Sue in Mt P
                                          l
                                          Leepa Feb 25, 2011 04:48 AM

                                          Count me in for the "glad this thread is back" group. Pimento cheese sandwiches are one of the two reasons I've never ever eaten a peanut butter sandwich and don't plan to.

                                        2. re: Mr. Haney
                                          s
                                          sueatmo Feb 20, 2011 02:04 PM

                                          Thanks for reviving the thread. I learned to make pimiento cheese long, long ago from a newspaper article about thrifty cooking. I (gasp) use cream cheese, along with Cabot's reduce fat cheddar. I admit I use Hellmann's reduced fat mayo. But I like to use smoked red peppers in the cheese. In fact I promised Mr. Sueatmo that I would make a batch, and I haven't done it! Bad me. I'm not from the South, but am Midwestern. I always thought cream cheese was a normal ingredient for pimiento cheese. I've grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches with good success.

                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                            m
                                            Mr. Haney Feb 20, 2011 03:16 PM

                                            Uh, well, I won't comment on the cream cheese! : )

                                            1. re: Mr. Haney
                                              Sue in Mt P Feb 20, 2011 03:31 PM

                                              I probably shouldn't either :D

                                              1. re: Sue in Mt P
                                                l
                                                Leepa Feb 25, 2011 04:46 AM

                                                Me, neither. ; )

                                            2. re: sueatmo
                                              s
                                              sueatmo Feb 25, 2011 06:30 PM

                                              You now I used to think that sweet cake like cornbread was the only authentic stuff, and from reading others' posts have learned differently. I think surely we can understand that some of us use cream cheese in pimiento cheese, and it is good.

                                              1. re: sueatmo
                                                Will Owen Feb 25, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                Yup. Go for what you really like. After a childhood and beyond thinking cornbread was what you made from Jiffy mix, I fell in love with the unsweetened crunchy Southern kind not because it was "authentic", but because it was undeniably GOOD. I like the idea of cream cheese in pimento cheese; I do NOT like the notion of reduced-fat cheese just because I have yet to meet one that I like, even including Cabot's. But that's just me. Go thou and follow thine own taste buds …

                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                  lynnlato Feb 27, 2011 05:18 AM

                                                  "Go thou and follow thine own taste buds "

                                                  Amen sir! Eat what you like - it's that simple. ;-)

                                          2. SweetPhyl Feb 25, 2011 07:28 AM

                                            As a long time Pimento Cheese Connosieur, I agree that one MUST NOT USE pre grated cheese. As the Pioneer Woman so aptly puts it, "it's coated with things like corn starch and failure."
                                            My grandmother made hers with 'merican cheese, pimentos and Hellmans along with some of the juice from her homemade lime pickles. The crisp, sweet pickles were eaten alongside the sandwich with squeals of delight.
                                            However, I can't have my grandmother's lime pickles, so I've resorted to perfecting my PC with my own additions. Hellmans is out as they've changed the recipe. I now use Duke's Mayo, grate my own cheese--usually a combo of cheddars and some pepper jack for a kick. I also add a small amount of grated onion--it contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the mayo & pimentoes. Chopped Pimentoes, juice and all, and lots of 'em. I get requests for my recipe often, but other than the above, I do it all to taste and feel.

                                            Grilled on rye, stuffed in celery, atop a saltine, or a ritz, on toasted multi grain bread, stuffed in a meatloaf, mixed in your scambled eggs on sandwiched between two peices of wonder bread--it's a southern staple and is always met with boisterous applause when encountered in a family member's refrigerator.

                                            Y'all have inspired me and I'm gonna mix up a batch this weekend. Bring yer own saltines...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: SweetPhyl
                                              m
                                              Mr. Haney Feb 25, 2011 10:52 PM

                                              You're right. Hellmann's (Best Foods) #2 ingredient behind soybean oil now is water,intead of eggs, which is unacceptable. I noticed the change in texture immediately and haven't bought a jar since. I use Duke's for pimento cheese and similar salads and JFG on sandwiches.

                                              By the way, Richard Hellmann's original mayo ingredients were as follows: Eggs, Oil, Vinegar, Spices, Sugar, and Salt. If you look at the ingredient list now, you'll shake your head in disbelief.

                                              1. re: Mr. Haney
                                                q
                                                quirkydeb Mar 16, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                How does Duke's compare to Trader Joe's Real Mayonnaise?

                                                TJ's ingredients are soybean oil, whole eggs & egg yolks, cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, lemon juice (from concentrate), water, salt, spice, natural flavor. The label includes the note: "This is not a low calorie food." :)

                                                1. re: quirkydeb
                                                  m
                                                  Mr. Haney Mar 18, 2011 04:44 AM

                                                  I'd love to try Trader Joe's, but we don't have a store. Duke's Mayonnaise: Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors, Calcium Disodium EDTA added to protect flavor. I'm not crazy about the EDTA (which is in most all commercial brands), but I'm crazy about the mayonnaise. Duke's is incredibly thick and provides wonderul body and texture to salad recipes.

                                                  As a side note, JFG may be the only brand I've found that uses just yolks. Another excellent brand is Naturally Delicious® Mayonnaise by Cains Foods, but it's hard to get it outside the New England states.

                                            2. EWSflash Sep 1, 2012 12:47 PM

                                              Wow- I'd have trouble with any pimento cheese that wasn't made with sharp cheddar, canned pimentos, and Hellman's/Best Foods mayo. That's just how it should be. Or name your spread something different.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                t
                                                Teacakes Sep 4, 2012 12:24 AM

                                                My daughter got married at our old family home in the country in 2006. I grew up in this house and so did my mother and grandfather. The home was built by my g grandfather and is now owned by another of his grandsons.

                                                It was not a "formal" wedding, but it was lovely with about 75 guests. My daughter had requested "reunion food", so that's what we had. I made hundreds of pimento cheese sandwiches (the plain old cheese, mayo, pimento version) and they were eaten almost immediately, before the baked ham, chicken salad, or even the banana pudding.

                                                I guess we all still love pimento cheese here in Alabama.

                                                1. re: Teacakes
                                                  l
                                                  Leepa Sep 4, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                  I've gotta agree. The best PC is what my Mom made and mine that I make like hers (still haven't quite got it down) and not the kind of recipe that has a lot of ingredients or fancy peppers instead of pimentos. I'll eat the other but every time I wish it was more like the "real thing."

                                                  1. re: Teacakes
                                                    g
                                                    G8trDoc Sep 4, 2012 04:16 PM

                                                    According to Jill Conner Browne in her book "The Sweet Potato Queens" pimento cheese is the pâté of the South.

                                                    I tend to agree. No funeral reception, family reunion, or church pot-luck dinner is complete without pimento cheese.

                                                2. n
                                                  nativebatonrougean Oct 3, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                  Great post!!!

                                                  I think it has to be hand grated.

                                                  1. suzigirl Nov 4, 2012 03:08 PM

                                                    Winn Dixie here has a brand called Palmetto Farms that is tasty if you don't want to make it. Also the deli has a pepper jack pimento cheese spread that is great

                                                    1. f
                                                      foodieop Dec 20, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                      I just can't imagine PC without pickled jalepenos (now I use my own homemade cowboy candy) and some of the juice in the jar.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: foodieop
                                                        suzigirl Dec 21, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                        I had never heard of cowboy candy but thanks to you I will be making some. Sounds yummy

                                                      2. d
                                                        dyh12 Apr 4, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                        Awesome history and summary with interesting variations. If you are looking for the Masters sandwich version, there is a detailed analysis of the ingredients listed as well as a bunch of variations here:
                                                        http://www.theteesheet.com/clubhouse-...

                                                         
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