Friday, November 29, 2013

Kicked Up Pimento Cheese

As a Northerner who has been visiting the South with some frequency I have been introduced to pimento cheese.   Also known as Southern caviar, pimento cheese is available at every Southern grocery store deli counter I have frequented.  Of course I had to sample some...over and over again! 

Pimento Cheese
If you are unfamiliar with pimento cheese you might be surprised to know that it is a simple mixture of shredded cheese, usually cheddar, mixed together with diced pimentos and mayonnaise.  This simple mixture is a staple across the South, but recipes differ from one family to another.  Do an Internet search and you'll get a feel for just how varied pimento cheese recipes are.  Some add cream cheese and others add onion.  My recipe includes jalapeno pepper for a little heat, but otherwise sticks with the basic cheddar cheese, pimento and mayonnaise ingredients.

Pimento cheese makes a perfect spread to keep on hand in your refrigerator.   Melt some between two slices of your favorite bread for a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  Friends drop in unexpectedly?  Top some crackers with a little pimento cheese for a tasty snack. 

Kicked Up Pimento Cheese
Pimento Cheese Ingredients
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined, minced
  • 4 ounces chopped pimentos, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Mix the cheese, jalapeno and pimentos together in a medium bowl with a spoon until the ingredients are well distributed.  Add the mayonnaise, mixing well.  Serve with your favorite crackers or as a sandwich spread.

Get the printable pimento cheese recipe here.




  1. So far all the lifelong southerns I have asked, none call pimento cheese Southern Caviar. An arguing point with people and their pimento cheese recipe is the mayonnaise. Some swear by Hellmans, some Dukes or Blue Plate. I prefer Dukes, no sugar! And Welcome to the South!

    1. You made me chuckle. It was probably a Northerner who coined the term "Southern caviar". All I know is this Northerner enjoys this Southern condiment, AND there is no way I am getting into the debate on which mayonnaise is better. That is a battle where no one wins!


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