Elevate Pimento Cheese Like A Southerner With A Simple Tangy Addition

Pimento cheese is the perfect spread for cheese lovers. This Southern staple typically consists of cheddar cheese, cream cheese mayo, pimentos (sweet red peppers), and seasonings. While that's the basic recipe, Southerners prefer a tangier version, often adding ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, diced pickles, or lemon juice — or some combination thereof. Seeing how popular it is in the South, you may as well try it the Southern way at least once. Tasting Table has a recipe for a classic pimento cheese — consisting of the basics, as well as bacon — that you can use as a starting off point.

If you want to go the umami-rich route with Worcestershire sauce, add a few dashes in with the rest of the ingredients before mixing. For the pickle addition, start with one small dill pickle and dice it up into small pieces, then adjust the amount you add based on your taste preferences (you can always cut up a second if you want a stronger pickle flavor). 

When adding Dijon mustard, all you need is a dollop to taste the effects of the extra tang. Similarly, if going the lemon juice route, all you need is a squeeze. If you're going for both Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard or lemon juice, you may want to lessen the amount of Worcestershire down to a splash, so the mixture doesn't get too liquidy — plus, you don't need as much to get the tangy taste since the Dijon or lemon juice will compensate.

How to serve the tangy pimento cheese

One of the most common uses for pimento cheese is, of course, as a dip. Pairing it with crackers or chips is the perfect way to experience all of its flavors — including the tanginess — without distraction. This method is probably best if you're trying out the spread for the first time, especially with the tangy additions. You could also spread it over fluffy Southern biscuits to pair two Southern classics together. This will still ensure that the pimento cheese flavor is front and center.

However, pimento cheese is often used as the fillings for a sandwich — for this, simply spread it between two pieces of your favorite bread and indulge in the creamy, tangy, cheese goodness. You can even pair the sandwich with a pickle for the side dish for even more tanginess. Additionally, you may want to consider taking the sandwich to the next level by turning it into a pimento grilled cheese

It's also often used as a condiment, such as on burgers. To try it this way, you can spread it on the bun of an easy smash burger or, for the vegetarians out there, a hearty black burger — it will give you the creaminess that you may look to other condiments for, as well as extra cheese flavor. You could, however, leave the cheese out of the recipe as to not overdo it on the cheesiness — it's your decision!