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Pimento cheese

29 May 2011

Sometimes, you find yourself “away” when the summer dictates that you begin to eat your body weight in pimento cheese, but you can’t find any pre-made. Sometimes, the only option you can find in the grocery store is that bright orange stuff that make you wonder if your insides will turn the same color. If you ever find yourself in these situations, here is the bare-bones recipe, originally from

1lb sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 c. mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s)
1 (4oz) bottle pimentos, drained and chopped into 1/4″ bits
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 pinches table black pepper
1 pinch table salt

Mix-ins. Many cooks have found ways to personalize their recipe. Common additives are chunks of roasted pecans, grated onions or chopped scallions, Worcestershire, hot sauce or powder, and black pepper. 


  1. Grate the cheese on the big holes of a box grater into a bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors marry.
  2. Before serving, let it sit at room temp for about 15 minutes so it is easier to work with.

I prefer my ‘menta cheese chunky, but if you want it smooth, just throw the whole mixture into a food processer and mix till smooth-ish (it will still be a little granular, and that’s just fine.) If you want it even smoother, add another 1/4 c. of mayonnaise.

Serve on white bread (with the crusts cut off, if you’re feeling snooty). Also wonderful on a turkey sandwich, on crackers, or as the cheese on a burger—adding a fried green tomato (à la Tupelo Honey Café in Asheville, NC) here is a wonderful thing.

(Photo credit)

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