Okay, y’all. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
You can’t be a real Southerner unless you like pimento cheese.
There, I said it.
You can go on about your grits and your cornbread, slather your country ham with redeye gravy, and eat chitlins until the cows come home, but you haven’t pushed the Southern meter all the way to the top unless you have a family recipe for homemade pimento cheese spread.
If you’re not familiar with pimento cheese, it’s a tangy, creamy, spicy concoction that you can put on sandwiches, serve with veggies, or melt it on a burger. My kids like pimento cheese quesadillas. I eat it straight off the spoon.
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 T mayonnaise
4 ounces diced pimentos from a jar
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper (optional, but not really)
Salt and pepper to taste
You’re going to want to take the time to grate your own cheese. The pre-shredded stuff in a bag will just make your tummy sad.
Cayenne is optional, but it does give everything a nice kick. And you need your pimento cheese to bite you back.
Put the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them together. Eat immediately or let the flavors meld together for a few hours in the fridge.