Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pimena Cheese

There are a lot of wonderful things about living in the South. Great, if not horribly humid, weather, super friendly folks, and, my personal favorite, the to-die-for food. I can't imagine living and eating anywhere else, and although I know I'll probably die young from all the deep-fried, artery-clogging, butter-dripping fare, I also know that I'll die full and happy.


Behold. A strike of pure technological and culinary genius. The Fry Daddy.
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One of the Dixieland food items I love the most? Pimento cheese, or pimena cheese, as I've always heard it called down South. Now when I was a little girl, I turned my nose up a mile at the mere thought of pimena cheese. I can vividly remember my parents fixing pimena cheese sandwiches and how completely grossed out I'd be by them and their nasty eating habits. Keep in mind I was a girl who would eat popcorn for breakfast, so my tastes couldn't exactly be trusted. And even I soon enough learned this fact.

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The day I tried pimena cheese for the first time was a glorious day indeed. Since then, I've experienced many different variations of this cheesy, yummy treat. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with even what the heck pimena (or pimento) cheese is, here's a quick explanation: it's cheese with pimentos in it.

Seriously, that's pretty much what it is. It makes a yummy spread that you can put on sandwiches and crackers, or just eat by the spoonful. You can buy the spread (in mild and hot versions) or make your own with an easy recipe like this:

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons diced pimentos
salt and pepper

And you basically just throw it all in a bowl and mix it together, then serve or chill. I always add cayenne pepper to mine, too. If you can get it nice and spicy, it's even better.

A recent variation I've had of the simple pimena cheese sandwich on white bread has been a pimena cheeseburger, which used to be available at Ruby Tuesday and isn't any more (boo, Ruby Tuesday, boo), but is more awesomely and yummy-ly available at a local restaurant in Rome, Georgia (a town about an hour from mine) called The Harvest Moon Cafe. The Harvest Moon calls their version of the burger the Pimp Burger, and I kid you not it's easily the best burger I've ever had. The meat was phenomenal, but the house-made pimena cheese smothered on the top was really what took the cake: Wicked Pimena Cheese.

Jeez, even talking about this burger and cheese spread makes me drool. Much to my dismay, you can't buy Wicked Pimena Cheese online, but you can always try to make your own version of plain ol' pimena cheese. I recommend that you at least try Southern Caviare, aka pimento cheese, at least once. It's a great taste of the South and is an easy, yummy way to dress up a plain, white bread sandwich.  

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15 comments:

  1. Haha, I think it is an acquired taste, one I am even still searching for. My mom used to get it all the time, and I would try it, and get sick of the taste by two bites. But such a 'fancy' southern thing!

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  2. HA! I hated it too as a child - I remember when we'd have pimena cheese sammiches at school for lunch. I'd be so pissed that day... LOL

    I have to say that I've never even tried the stuff. It smelled bad and it looked even worse and even as an adult I haven't been able to bring myself to try it. Maybe I'll have to. I'm not a huge mayo fan - but I'll eat chicken or potato salad if it's made the right way. And you know about my pepper hatred... LOL

    P.S. LOVE the new look around here! Soooo pretty and springy! Have a fabulous weekend girly!

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  3. Just stopping by to follow you from the blog hop. Hope you'll come visit me, too! http://hisperfectpromises.blogspot.com/

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  4. Too bad I'm on a dairy free detox right now. Thanks for stopping in!

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  5. You know what would be good with that? Spam.

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  6. I love pimento cheese! I live in the Carolinas and have always loves it! We did not have grilled cheese with the slices but grilled pimento cheese. I make them to go with tomato soup and put it on celery, crackers, anything that will hold it! Found you from House Unseen, Life Unscripted! Great blog!

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  7. Dropping by to say "Hi"!
    Take care,
    Char
    http://1epicmom.com/

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  8. hmmm, something I have not tried??? wow

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  9. Such a wonderful blog! Found you through the Weekend Blog hop and so glad I did! I couldn't stand Pimento cheese until I moved to Texas. Now my husband has me hooked on Pimena Cheese...
    I start a giveaway tomorrow!Talk to you soon and have a wonderful weekend!
    Elizabeth

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  10. Awesome post! I've never even heard of pimento cheese before (pimentos, yes, cheese, yes, but not together). Looking forward to learning more about southern culinary treats I may have missed out on being a Pacific Northwest girl! :o)

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  11. I've never heard of this, but it did remind me that my grandmother (who was born and raised in MN) always put Cheez Whiz on her burgers. While we liked to mock her about it, it was actually *really* good!

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  12. I have never tried it ! Growing up in France :)
    Newest fan and would love a follow back ! Happy blog hop !
    http://lechateaudesfleurs.blogspot.com

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  13. I think i've tried it? anything cheese and i'm good to go really! =) I'm easy like that... hahaha!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

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  14. I deep fry anything I can get my hands on.

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  15. @Texa: Definitely an acquired taste...give it some time. You may warm up to it yet!

    @Heather: We're really going to have to work on this pepper thing of your's. At least it's not your arch nemesis like cilantro is though.

    @Tamara: Thanks for the visit!

    @Kristy: That is too bad...I think I would miss cheese too much!

    @Bernie: You're SO right. I mean, I can think of nothing better.

    @Sarita: Yum! grilled pimento cheese...That sounds fabulous. Thank you so much for visiting!

    @Epic: Hi! Thanks for stopping by :)

    @melody-mae: You must try it! It's wonderful!

    @SassySweetChic: Thanks so much! Good for your husband...isn't it great?!

    @Raven's Rascals: Welcome! I'm glad I could introduce pimena cheese to someone new. My husband is from the Pacific Northwest, too; he loved moving down here and discovering a whole new culinary world :) Thanks for visiting, btw.

    @Ada: Oh, that sounds awesome! Your grandmother sounds like a smart lady :)

    @Le Chateau: Hello to France! Thanks for dropping in.

    @Jennifer: Oh, me too...cheese is my biggest weakness!

    @Raising Marshmallows: I know, right? Deep frying is where it's at :)

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