Recipe: Classic Pimiento Cheese

You can’t go wrong with classic Southern pimiento cheese and toasts.

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Do justice to our favorite Southern spread.

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Every good Southern hostess has a classic pimiento cheese recipe tucked in her back pocket and ready to pull out at a moment's notice. Pimiento cheese is one of the region's most beloved dishes, and we've found ways to add it into just about everything you could think of. Sometimes we'll warm up on a chilly weekday to Southern Pimiento Mac-and-Cheese, or throw a few burgers on the grill in the summer and serve our guests Pimiento-Cheese Bacon Burgers. We've got deviled eggs, fried chicken, biscuits, and scones.

Whatever your fancy, pimiento cheese is the comforting, well-loved appetizer that makes any guest feel at home. So, for the care that you're putting into preserving Mama's pimiento cheese recipe, why not use the same attention into how you're serving and scooping?

One of the most important elements to pimiento cheese is the texture, which is why most recipes will have you grate the cheese by hand instead of buying shredded from the grocery store. Pimiento cheese is delicate; it shouldn't be slathered ungraciously with a serrated knife or the back of a spoon. Here are a few of the best ways to scoop pimiento cheese, whether you're hosting the preacher and his wife for Sunday dinner or are attending a picnic in the park.

For a ladies' luncheon

When you're serving pimiento cheese as part of a cold salad trio, likely on a china salad plate, the best way to serve it up to your guests is in a small, portioned scoop. A melon baller tends to be a little small – because guests will inevitably want more of this creamy favorite – but a stainless steel ice cream scoop does the trick everytime. Use a spring-loaded scoop so that the cheese will release easily.

For a dinner party

A Southern cheese board is an easy, foolproof appetizer idea for hosting company. A few cheeses, pimiento included, provide flavor for your guests without filling them up before they get to try your famous honey-bourbon ham. On a cheese board, you'll want to serve up your pimiento cheese with a tool that's a little more versatile; we recommend doing your "scooping" with an elegant, small cheese knife. This floral-and-gold cheese knife set from Anthropologie comes with three knives, so you'll be able to cut hard cheeses, take a dip into fig jam, and spread soft pimiento cheese with a matching trio.

WATCH: Here's How To Make The Best Pimiento Cheese Ever

 

For a church potluck

When you're serving pimiento cheese to a crowd, you likely won't have time to let everyone go into the bowl with a small cheese knife. Instead, we opt for a large silver serving spoon, so picnic guests and potluck-goers can take a dollop for their plate. Metal spoons have softer edges than plastic ones, so you're be less likely to break down the cheese scoop after scoop.

For when you've just got a hankering

Fancy schmancy – sometimes you're at home on a Wednesday afternoon and just need to take a quick dip into that Palmetto Cheese. For those cravings, a cracker is more than appropriate. In a staff poll, we had a few votes for Wheat Thins, butter crackers, Triscuits, and baguette crisps. When you're choosing a cracker to dip, heartiness is key. Pick a cracker that'll hold up to the scooping and won't break in transit. After that, it's all up to you.