Call me trashy, but I love, love, lurve pimento cheese! It’s everything I could want, all rolled into one, usually plastic, container with red and black retro writing on it. It’s trailer park picnics at their best. It’s the perfect complement to pork rinds (although, that is just one of the trashy foodstuffs I cannot ingest . . . but please make sure you bring extra corndogs to suffice). It’s been good to you! It’s pimento cheese.
Growing up, my mother would not allow us to have junk food. McDonald’s was saved for those special times when we had a babysitter on a Friday night, or for after the softball game where I played exceptionally well. Even Cokes were saved for the weekends only. Which is completely ironic now that I’m an adult and that same “junk food” now pays my bills. Go figure. My point is, I never even knew what pimento cheese was until college. This may seem funny to you, but it is absolutely true. I basically grew up in the south and never came across pimento cheese. I’m not sure if it was the sheltered pantry my mother kept, or if it’s because I wasn’t interested in spreads on breads.
However, when I discovered this backyard delicacy, I immediately fell in love. Oh, the joy of cheese and whatever it is that makes it clump together like that was beyond anything measurable. I yearned for the trips to Wal-Mart where I could marvel at the vast variety of pimento cheese brands and flavors. I never dared buy them, though, because apparently, pimento cheese is not everyone’s favorite spread. In fact, most people look down upon it. I really didn’t care to have Sorority Sally shifting her eyes in my direction and throwing me one of those “that’s going straight to your thighs, buttercup” looks at me as I pick up the southern-style pimento cheese bucket from the dairy section. (And Sorority Sally can shoot me that look . . . she’s buying soy milk, like I should be doing.)
Even now, as a well-educated and tasteful adult, my love for pimento cheese has not wavered, and now the deli workers in my office building murmur to each other anytime I step up and ask for pimento cheese with tomato. Yes, I can tell that I’m the only one who actually orders the pimento cheese since when I get to it, it’s been sitting in it’s container, and has obviously been untouched during the daily lunch rush hour. But I want it. And I’ll take the ridicule. And to think, I was under the impression that I was giving the deli guy a break from the normal smoked turkey and ham with my scoop of pimento cheese.