Come for the golf, stay for the pimiento cheese.
The Masters Pimento Cheese
Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As any golf fan can tell you, April 7, 2022 marks the start of the 86th Masters Tournament. Thousands of lucky ticket holders make their pilgrimage every spring to the effusively floral fairways to get a glimpse of golf's greatest players. Nearly as famous as the course itself is Augusta National's concession stand, where the low prices make for the best culinary bargain in sports. The beloved pimiento cheese sandwich is still only $1.50. Few will ever play well enough to put on the green blazer given to Masters champions, but anyone can shell out a buck fifty and peel back the green wrapper on one of those sandwiches.

A couple of years ago, a change in vendors resulted in a change in the pimiento cheese. You'd have thought they'd mowed down every azalea along the course. Masters faithful don't like it when you mess it with their pimiento cheese.

So what's in the signature recipe? That's between the pimiento cheese and its maker, and they're not saying. Allegedly authentic recipes have been published in various publications, including Par 3 Tea-Time at the Masters by the Junior League of Augusta. Some people say it is a hole in one (shall we say), while others cast doubts and aspersions. Some recreations seem plausible, while some are ludicrous. Who in the world could ever think that pimiento cheese should contain chopped boiled eggs?

Perhaps the issue isn't so much what's on the sandwich as where it's eaten. Just as seafood never tastes as it does at the waters' edge and French food is best when eaten within sight of the Eiffel Tower, perhaps the secret ingredient in the Masters Pimiento cheese is the Masters itself. Any sandwich eaten beyond the perimeter of Augusta National will simply never measure up.

This suggests that those in attendance should fish six quarters from their pockets and bask in a full-fledged moment of Masters tradition. The rest of us will watch from our sofas and eat our own favorite pimiento cheese. It's par for our course.