It always strikes me as a little funny when the rest of the world discovers food that those of us in the South have been eating all along.
Like pimento cheese.
Growing up in Texas, my grandma, like many others, made it for all occasions. In the South, it’s hard to find a church supper, a family potluck or a tearoom menu where it’s NOT among the offerings. But recently, pimento cheese has made it to the big time. It was listed as one of the trendy foods of 2011 by Bon Appetit magazine. And it’s been showing up on restaurant menus, even those not in the South, often dressed up with new ingredients like chipotles or feta cheese.
Me, I’m a traditionalist. I like the classic version we make in many of our in-store delis. And I like this basic recipe, because it’s simple, fresh, and reminds me of the kind my grandma made.
Pimento Cheese Spread
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2 to 3/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s or Duke’s brands)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
4-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Note: All ingredients can be adjusted to taste, add more or less mayo to adjust creaminess and or spreadability.
Variation: Hot Pimento Cheese Spread. Add two or three pickled jalapenos, finely minced, for a spicy kick.