The Only Crackers You Should Serve with Pimiento Cheese

Put away the artisanal, whole grain crackers.


Whether it's store-bought or homemade, you can never go wrong with pimiento cheese. If you want to twirl it up and serve it out of a cut crystal bowl, alongside flutes of the finest Champagne, with your best linen cocktail napkins, that's all fine and dandy, but please don't get fancy with the crackers. This world-famous spread might be known as the "pâté of the South", but at heart, pimiento cheese is a humble delicacy made of simple ingredients: mayonnaise, grated cheese, and jarred pimientos. It is best savored on regular old, trusty Saltines.

Yes, Saltines.

Not water crackers, not rustic, whole-wheat flatbreads sprinkled with herbs and flaky salt, not buttery Club crackers, not pita chips. Saltines are the cracker you should always keep in the pantry. From sick days with a bowl of chicken noodle soup to being the ideal vehicle for the South's favorite spread, Saltines can do it all.

Why Saltines?

They're neutral in flavor without tasting like cardboard. They are just salty enough to enhance the pimiento cheese. And they have a crispy, but not too sturdy texture that's just right for spreading or scooping. Plus, you can bite the cracker in half without it completely crumbling into a million pieces. Best of all, you can also use them to make Fire Crackers, but that's another thing altogether. Whether you prefer your pimiento cheese extra spicy or mild, smooth or chunky, classic or with copious amounts of stir-ins, a sleeve (or two) of Saltines will be the perfect accompaniment. You will need nothing more. Maybe some celery sticks.

It's best to stick with the classics.

Think of the tomato sandwich, that other beloved Southern food icon. It is simply tomatoes and mayonnaise with a little salt and black pepper, sandwiched between two slices of white bread—regular old, soft, squishy, nutritionally devoid white bread. Sure, you could make a tomato sandwich with a crusty baguette, or a potato roll, or artisanal whole-grain bread from the farmers' market, but it won't be as good. The tomato is the star of this sandwich and you don't want bread to get in the way of that. Just like Saltines and pimiento cheese.

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