Who knew pimento cheese dip had such history? No, really. Who?
All I knew was that I have long loved the crazy orange dip from the cheese aisle at the grocery store. When I researched pimento cheese dip recipes on the web, I learned that this grocery store dip is actually a faux pas to many-a-pimento cheese dip connoisseurs.
In the South, pimento cheese dip and/or spread is a staple. But it must be homemade to be worth eating…as with so many dips and spreads.
This dip may be a staple in the South, but folklore has it that the dip originated in the Midwest or Northeast. It was so popular in the early 1900s that Kraft even sold its own pimento cheese. Now, 100 years later, pimento cheese dip still has its place in our mouths. Bon Appétit Magazine editor recently told Time Magazine that it is one of the top foods in 2011. Pimento cheese is one of the top foods! We can thank gourmet hot dogs and gourmet grilled cheese for that.
I learned a lot about pimento cheese dip in this NPR article. I also learned quite a bit from this piece in Lark Crafts. If you’re intrigued, you should definitely check those articles out. But in the meantime, here’s the pimento cheese dip that I came up with after reading dozens.
*8 oz. sharp cheddar
*4 oz. Monterrey Jack
*2 dill pickles
*2 cloves garlic
*1 tsp. ground black pepper
*1 tsp. hot sauce
*1, 4 oz. jar of pimentos, drained
*3 heaping spoonfuls of mayonnaise
Instructions: Blend all ingredients (except pimentos and mayo) in a food processor. Pour mixture into mixing bowl and then stir in pimentos and mayo. You may want to add more than 3 spoonfuls of mayo to get the slimy texture you like. Serve on bread or with crackers, chips, or veggies.
When I made this dip I threw the pimentos into the food processor along with everything else. That was a mistake. I feel that a true pimento dip needs big chunks of that pimento, which is why I modified the recipe here.