Only have a few minutes to whip up something tasty? This super simple Pimento Cheese recipe takes a few minutes to prepare and is sure to delight the taste buds of all your friends and family.
A Brief History of Pimento Cheese
The history of pimento cheese is a classic case of perfect timing. Although pimento cheese is a Southern delicacy, its roots can be traced up north.
During the 1870s, farmers in New York State started making a soft, unripened cheese that evolved into what we know as cream cheese. Around the same time, sweet red peppers or “pimientos” imported from Spain were made available in the States. The fresh peppers caught on, Americans dropped the “i,” and pimento peppers could be found in kitchens across the country.
It was only a matter of time before someone capitalized on the popularity of these new foods.
A 1908 Good Housekeeping recipe for sandwiches filled with a combination of cream cheese, mustard, chives, and a can of minced pimentos became so popular that cheese manufacturers in New York and Wisconsin began mass-producing the pimento cheese spread. Soon, it was available nationwide.
So, the South didn’t invent pimento cheese – but it did become the capital of the pimento growing and canning industry. Spanish pimentos were expensive and in-demand, and Georgia farmers decided to cash in on the profitable peppers by cultivating domestic pimentos. The country’s largest packer, Pomona Products Company in Griffin, Georgia, was churning out 10 million cans of pimentos per year.
It’s believed that Georgia’s pimento production was the reason why pimento cheese became so much more popular in the South than in other parts of the country. Georgia’s pimento production reached its peak between the 1920s and 1940s, which corresponds with the country’s pimento cheese craze.
Making a homemade version of this Southern delicacy couldn’t be any easier. In our version, we swap cream cheese for mayonnaise for a less thick, lighter, and creamier dip that won’t break your chip! See for yourself by watching the video below, or download the free Georgia Pimento Cheese recipe card.
Georgia Pimento Cheese Recipe
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 4-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve as a dip with vegetables, chips, or crackers, or spread onto sandwich bread for a quick and filling lunch.
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