Pimento cheese freeze-out at the Masters Tournament
April 6th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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Heartbreak ensued yesterday at the annual Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia when a power outage at the golf club's production center temporarily interrupted the availability of pimento cheese sandwiches to hungry fans.

Augusta.com reports that severe thunderstorms were the cause of the power loss and that at least one patron was pretty cheesed off at the lack of sandwiches.

Reed Clevenger of Cary, North Carolina attended the tournament with a friend and told the publication "We were in disbelief when we walked in and heard there were no sandwiches...We told (our sons) even if you don't like it, you have to try the pimento cheese at least once."

Mr. Reed reportedly tracked down the sandwiches at the single concession stand that was selling them, and power was restored throughout the club on Tuesday.

The peppery cheese spread is a tradition (and a bargain to boot) at the annual golf competition.

Since many Southerners vehemently disagree as to its platonic makeup - levels of spice, cheese blend, consistency and additions such as onion and pickles are all hotly debated - Eatocracy presents several variations.

From John Currence, James Beard Award-winning chef of City Grocery Restaurant Group in Oxford, Mississippi

Pimento Cheese

Makes about 3/4 gallon
4 cups shredded cheddar
4 cups shredded Havarti
1 1/2 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, minced
3/4 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco hot sauce
1 cup pimentos, minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine cheeses, mayonnaise, pickle juice and Tabasco in food processor and pulse until combined. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

From Eatocracy commenter C.K. Leverett

Pimento Cheese Spread

1 lb. Velveeta or similar cheese product, shredded
1 lb. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 jar (14-16 oz.) pimentos or roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. Texas Pete (or your favorite hot sauce)"

Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and start blending on the lowest mixer setting until combined, scraping frequently. Very gradually increase mixer speed, scraping as needed, until the mixer is at its highest setting. Beat at highest speed for at least five minutes until creamy. Cover bowl (or transfer to a tightly covered container) and chill overnight, allowing flavors to meld. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before spreading.

Traditionally, in North Carolina at least, this would be spread evenly on white bread, crusts trimmed and cut into small triangles, often joining chicken salad sandwiches prepared in the same fashion. I do use a good thin white bread – Arnold Brick Oven White Big Slice or similar – but unless it’s going to be part of a platter for serving to guests I don’t bother trimming the crusts, or for that matter cutting it more than in half.

Our managing editor prefers this recipe from NPR's Wright Bryan, spiked with an extra splash of pickle juice. Share your favorite formulations and pimento cheese musings in the comments below.

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Filed under: America • Cheese • Cuisines • Dishes • Events • Pimento Cheese • Southern • Sports

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. sandbetweentoes

    Palmetto Cheese is what we eat here on the coast of SC. It originated in Pawley's Island and has strong following. You are lucky to find it in grocery stores. No other pimento cheese comes close!

    April 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  2. ThatBelle

    My fam's recipe is quite similar to a couple posted previously...sharp cheddar cheese, mayo (Kraft), pimento, salt, pepper, onion (run thru the food processor so it's super fine), and a little bit of worcestershire. Sunbeam white bread (fresh!) with a thin layer of butter on one slice and thin layer of mayo on the other...spread as much pimento cheese as you want, and YUMMY it is! :)

    April 8, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  3. Pscyclepath

    Power outage at the Master's? I remember from being stationed out at Fort Gordon about ten years ago that most of Richmond County is wired about like a tarpaper shack in neighboring South Carolina... Everytime there's a thunderstorm, power goes out all over the place. Glad to see that the golf club is upholding another fine Georgia tradition ;-)

    April 7, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  4. Mike

    slow news day ?

    April 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Nope – we just take any chance we get to write about pimento cheese. It's heavenly stuff.

      April 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  5. Katie

    Cheddar cheese (white and yellow) jar (including juice) of diced pimentos mayo and mustard, adding until spreadable. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy on everything–burgers, fries, egg sandwiches, list goes on

    April 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Sid

    Augusta National is the ONLY place on earth I'll eat pimento cheese but theirs are good...

    April 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  7. Jen Jen

    Jen's Pimento Cheese
    One eight-ounce block of mild or medium Kraft cheese, grated
    One four-ounce jar of Dromedary diced pimientos. Drain juice, then look to see if any black spots, peeling, etc. then mash more with a fork
    Heaping tablespoon mayonnaise, we like JFG
    Salt to taste
    Stir together, keep refrigerated
    Makes five sandwiches, so I usually double or triple the recipe, but I only make one batch at a time to make sure I get the consistency right. Enjoy!

    April 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Robdeneil

      Jen, I grew up in Alabama and pimento cheese was a staple in our house. My mother–now 88 y/o–still makes it and her recipe is basically the same as yours. It just does not get any better! Thank you for your post! –Rob

      April 7, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  8. wow

    you people are disgusting.

    April 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Toastmaster@wow

      EXCELLENT! Point to your team! Amazing that we haven't heard your eloquence before today!


      April 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  9. Julie Labrouste, Tacoma WA

    Oh my God Muffy! They're out of pimento cheese sandwiches!

    April 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  10. Bruce Springsteen@Kat

    Hey Kat! Was that title a nod at me?

    April 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  11. Rebecca O.

    Not to be all self-promotey, but seriously, put it on a cheeseburger.


    April 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jerv

      Cool, thanks!

      April 8, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • North Georgia native

      When I was a boy, I think I remember pimento cheese being the standard for a cheeseburger at the Varsity.

      For my part, I loved it until my mother put a pimento cheese sandwich in my school lunch every day for 4 years of high school. Now, thinking about eating it gives me hives. Thanks, Mom!

      April 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  12. Shirley U Jest

    People who enjoy pimento cheese sandwiches would also enjoy stir fried shezwan stink bugs. They are both about the same caliber.

    April 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • JBJingles@Shirley

      To each his own, why don't you try to contribute something useful/entertaining/relevant/funny for a change.

      April 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
      • Jerv@JBJ

        Because JBJ, people that "enjoy" being a troll also "enjoy" wallowing in their own irrelevent self worth.

        April 8, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  13. janedmn

    Mine is simple but fabulous. 1 lb Delux American cheese, 1 jar Pimentos, 3 large dill pickles, 1 pint Kraft Mayonnaise.
    Push cheese, pimentos, and pickles through food grinder. Drain pimentos and pickles thru seive. Stir all together. Will be sloopy first day, but needs whole pint of mayo. S&P if desire. Had a friend who was allergic to cheddar who loved this.

    April 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  14. jujubeans

    That's like running out of bratwurst at a Milwaukee Brewer's game!

    April 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  15. Mayo be banned!

    Mayo is such a vile, wretched substance. It should, as far as I'm concerned, be obliterated from both our palates, our dialect and our society. Whomever came up with it is sick. As such, no pimento for me!

    April 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Frisco Andy

      I've used it as a steak sauce. That's your problem – you haven't eaten it as a steak sauce.

      April 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • john41233

      oh yeah, ban mayo cuz you're one of the few who hate it. Yup that makes a ton of sense ~ cookoo

      April 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Brian Holbrook

      Umm "palates, ...dialect, and ...society" equals three things. Mayo and grammar FTW.

      April 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Sydney

      Pimentos are peppers. Pimento cheese has mayo. So, technically, you can have pimentos, just not pimento cheese.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  16. AleeD

    Oh! [8-O Ew!

    April 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  17. The Witty One

    Sounds good to me, can't wait to try it!

    April 6, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  18. Johnna

    Loving the dramatic effects of Pimento Cheese on such an important tournament...food conquers again!

    April 6, 2011 at 11:15 am |
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