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In the cuisine of the Southern United States, pimento cheese is a spread or relish made with cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos. It is served spread on bread, crackers and vegetables, or in sandwiches. Pimento cheese sandwiches are a signature item at the professional golf Masters Tournament.

Pimento cheese
Pimento cheese.jpg
Pimento cheese on crackers
Type Spread or relish
Place of origin United States
Main ingredients Cheddar cheese or processed cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos
Cookbook: Pimento cheese  Media: Pimento cheese



The basic recipe has few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese or processed cheese (such as Velveeta or American cheese), mayonnaise or salad dressing, and pimentos, blended to either a smooth or chunky paste.[1] Regional ingredients include cream cheese, salt and pepper, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeños, onions, garlic, and dill pickles.[1][2] Pimento cheese has been referred to as the "pâté of the south", "Carolina caviar" and "the caviar of the South."[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Pimento cheese can be served as a spread on crackers or celery, scooped onto corn chips or tortilla chips, mixed in with mashed yolks for deviled eggs,[2] added to grits, or slathered over hamburgers or hotdogs.[10]

A pimento cheese sandwich can be a quick and inexpensive lunch, or it can be served as a cocktail finger food (with crusts trimmed, garnished with watercress, and cut into triangles) or rolled up and cut into pinwheels. It is also a common snack in the Philippines, where it is referred to as cheese pimiento.[11][12][13][14]

Pimento cheese sandwiches are a popular item at the professional golf Masters Tournament.[15][16] Minor controversy ensued in 2013 when the Augusta National Golf Club switched food suppliers for the Masters and the new supplier was unable to duplicate the recipe used by the previous supplier, resulting in a sandwich with a markedly different taste.[17]

In popular cultureEdit

  • Better Call Saul Season 1 episode 9 is titled "Pimento" because fixer Mike Ehrmantraut brings a pimento cheese sandwich to a bodyguard job instead of a weapon. By way of explanation, he repeats the adage that pimento is the "caviar of the South," which Thomas Schnauz, episode writer, admits was sourced from Wikipedia itself.[18] (Subsequent to Schnauz's sourcing from Wikipedia, and the addition of this Popular Culture reference, Wikipedia editors removed the "Caviar of the South" adage above with a claim that it was not sufficiently sourced, which would have made it appear that Schnauz got the adage from nowhere...until a contributor reinstated it along with several outside source references. Now editors are challenging the relevancy of this section, perhaps unaware of how edit history of this page is itself part of the story.)
  • In the Breaking Bad episode "Cornered" (the events of which take place several years after the Better Call Saul episode) Mike also offers a pimento cheese sandwich to Jesse Pinkman when they are on a stakeout together. As Breaking Bad was written first, it became part of the Mike Ehrmantraut character to be elaborated upon in Better Call Saul.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Pimento Cheese: It's A Southern Thing". NPR, Wright Bryan, January 17, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Pimiento Cheese: One of Life's Simple Pleasures". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Viggiano, Brooke (January 1, 2016). "Dish of the Week: Pimento Cheese (Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday)". Houston Press. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Asheville's pimento cheese hunger grows: Where to get it". Citizen Times. July 28, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Caviar of the South: Pimento Cheese". 
  6. ^ "Pimento Dip: The Caviar of the South". 
  7. ^ "Caviar of the South (pimento cheese)". 2015-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Serve Carolina Caviar (Pimento Cheese) For the Game". 2010-01-20. 
  9. ^ Reed, J. (2009). Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (with Recipes). St. Martin's Press. p. 243. ISBN 978-1-4668-2853-7. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Pimento Cheese: It's A Southern Thing". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "Homemade Cheese Pimiento - Recipe -". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  12. ^ "Cheese Pimiento Sandwich Spread". 22 February 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Filipino Cheese Pimiento Sandwich Spread". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  14. ^ Taga_luto (25 April 2010). "Inato lang Filipino Cuisine and More: CHEESE PIMIENTO FILIPINO STYLE". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "Perfecting pimento: gourmet gives us our own recipe". Golf Digest. 2003. 
  16. ^ "Augusta Georgia: Features:Pimiento cheese is soul food of the South 04/14/02". Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  17. ^ Thompson, Wright (April 11, 2013). "A sandwich stumper at the Masters". Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Better Call Saul Insider Podcast - 1x09 - Pimento - Jonathan Banks (Mike) & Michael Mando (Nacho)". Better Call Saul Insider Podcast (Podcast). 2015. Event occurs at 26:00.