Coast Cooking

Pimento and cheese is easy to make and there are plenty of variations

Pimento and cheese is as old-school Southern as you can get.
Pimento and cheese is as old-school Southern as you can get. Special to the Sun Herald

If you grew up in the South, you certainly had your share of pimento and cheese.

Pimentos have Spanish origins, and the idea of combining pimentos with cheese to make a spread seems to have come from the northeast.

For some reason, the idea didn’t take hold up there, but as it drifted South, it picked up speed and popularity.

Pimento and cheese is easy to make, the basic recipe is grated cheese, mayonnaise and a jar of pimentos.

But that is not to say you can’t jazz it up a bit. The most obvious variation is the use of a different cheese. Old-schoolers used Velveeta or just processed American cheese, but there are plenty of other cheeses from which to choose.

If you are going to melt the finished product, you could use Gruyere, one of the best melting cheeses in the world, a good Swiss, or a white cheddar would also do nicely.

There are dozens of good things you can do with this old Southern favorite, but just for old time sake, start with a pimento and cheese sandwich, chips and a glass of cold milk. Brings back memories, doesn’t it?

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