CHEESE & PIMENTO SPREAD

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When I was a kid, my parents used to buy Kraft Pimento Spread in a juice glass. (At least, that’s how we used the containers after the cheese had been consumed.) I loved that stuff and could tidily polish off a whole jar by myself if my parents weren’t careful.

So when I discovered to my amazement that you can still buy cheese spreads in a jar, I was magically transported back to my childhood! And why I had never noticed these darling little nostalgic reminders of the good old days at my local grocery store before I began this segment is anyone’s guess. But Kraft Pimento Spread, as well as Old English Cheese and Roka Blue are apparently still going strong. Of course each jar is over $3, but because they are still appearing on the shelves, it seems that people must still be purchasing these products with regularity. (Now granted, I didn’t look to see if there was a pull date on the labels. For all I know those jars could still be around from the 50s. But for the sake of my sanity and yours, I’m going to assume that someone is monitoring the pull dates on these products as routinely as they are on the Hostess Twinkies labels!)

And what started this whole trip back to pimento cheese spread you wonder? Well it was my dear friend Vicki. Mr. C and I were over at her home for an afternoon band rehearsal (not Vicki and me, but our husbands doing the rehearsing) and one of the munchies she served was so simple, but so delicious, I had to make it for myself and share the results with all of you. In Vicki’s version, she simply mixed mayonnaise with finely grated cheddar cheese and diced pimentos. Lovely, and ready immediately.

In my version, I wanted something a little closer to my childhood memory of pimento cheese in a jar. So I decided to process the cheese and mayonnaise to a fine paste and then add the pimentos. And because I enjoy just a little bite to my cheese spreads, I added a wee bit of heat in the form of black pepper and creamy horseradish. And time. (My version is better after it has had a little time to mellow in the refrigerator.)

So if you too happen to be old enough or hip enough to enjoy cheese and pimentos together, give either or both of these cheesy pimento spreads a try. I promise you will not be disappointed by the flavor combination. Of course in making your own pimento spread, you will be missing out on some of the fascinating ingredients contained in the original product like carob bean gum, guar gum, annatto color, and sodium bisulfate. But this is just an example of the type of sacrifice one has to make in the quest for delicious food.

Thank you Vicki, not only for this recipe, but for all of your knowledge and inspiration into the world of delectable cuisine.

  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 1¼ c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 grind black pepper
  • scant 1/8 tsp. creamy horseradish, opt.
  • 2 oz. jar diced pimentos

Combine the mayonnaise, cheese, pepper, and horseradish in the food processor. Whirl until smooth. Add the pimento and give it one or 2 quick pulses. (You don’t want the pimento too finely chopped or blended. Little pieces of pimento are desired.) Allow to rest in your refrigerator for a couple days. Serve at room temperature on buttery crackers.

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks