Know It All: Pimiento Cheese

The Southern spread is hitting it big. Whip up a batch!

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Photo by: Charles Masters

Charles Masters

Pimiento cheese, the beloved spread known as "caviar of the South," is fast becoming an all-American favorite: It has shown up in the sushi at Costco, on burgers at Johnny Rockets and even as a fan-favorite contender in Lay's Do Us a Flavor potato chip contest. Pimiento cheese is based on a few common ingredients, yet the variations are countless: No two family recipes are the same, and die-hard pimiento cheese lovers swear that every little twist makes a huge difference. (People can't even agree on the spelling: Some go with -iento, others go with -ento.) Taste for yourself!

Fun Facts

  • Pimiento cheese originated in the North. It became associated with the South when Georgia farmers began growing pimientos in the early 1900s.
  • Southerners argue over which mayo is best in the mix: Hellmann's (known as Best Foods in the West) or slightly tangy Duke's.
  • The recipe for the famous pimiento cheese sandwich at the Masters golf tournament in Georgia remains a secret. The inventor took it to his grave in 2015.

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