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Food Friday: Pimento Cheese!

April 8, 2011

Fridays on this blog will often be devoted to food. Food Lover Fridays. I am most definitely a lover of food. Actually, my whole family is. As dysfunctional as we may be as a family… anytime we get together we always eat well. Today’s food edition is in honor of one of my all time favorite events that is currently underway: The Masters. Augusta National Golf Course may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. My Dad and I scored last minute tickets to the 3rd round (that would be Saturday) a few years ago and I was close to tears as I walked onto the grounds. Not a blade of grass was out of place and everyone was as kind as could be, from the fellow attendees to the staff working the event. Now, while the polo shirts and merchandise being sold in the gift shop were outrageously expensive, the food on the ground was super cheap. And by cheap, I mean like $2 for a sandwich… all wrapped up in cute little green plastic wrap. Egg salad sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches… you name it, the whole menu is cheap.

So in honor of the Masters, lets talk about that great Southern concoction: pimento cheese. Now, many people like pimento cheese as a plain, cold sandwich. I like it as a grilled cheese sandwich or served as an appetizer or snack served on pita chips or crackers. I have not tried it on celery, but I imagine that would be rather tasty as well. I also love it on a cheese burger as the cheese component… yum! Pimento cheese is a cheese spread that is beloved by just about every Southerner I know. The basic recipe is sharp cheddar cheese (freshly shredded), diced pimentos (which is a red looking pepper), mayonnaise, salt and pepper. I don’t have a particular recipe that I use, but I can recommend the best place to get it! I was visiting a friend for a long weekend few years ago and she took me to a place called DiPratos Delicatessen (http://www.dipratos.com). They have a regular cheddar version and a Vermont white cheddar version that are both to die for. Several friends and I have made our way back to that place over the years and we literally sit there and try to figure out what they have put in it. We are convinced some cream cheese has been mixed in, it just melts so well. The thing I like about this place’s spread is that you can still see the shredded cheese, it is not all a paste. Some people like the paste style, not me. I also think there may be some garlic in it. Regardless, it is the best pimento cheese spread I have ever have, and I cart some off in a to go container every time I manage to get to the restaurant! So, if you can’t get it fresh from the delicatessen, look up a recipe online and try it sometime. You may find you like something new, and so Southern!

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