Famous Southern Foods of Charleston, SC – Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese—known affectionately as the “caviar of the South,” this creamy, cheesy condiment is best served between two slices of bread. To make your own, combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, jalapeno, and pimento in a bowl. Pimento cheese is commonly served as a spread, often found combined with crackers, celery sticks, carrot sticks, corn and tortilla chips, added to grits, on hamburgers and hot dogs, and even mixed into deviled eggs. Pimento cheese is a staple in many Southern homes and is often served during parties and other events. It is an especially popular menu item in many of South Carolina’s restaurants and other eateries. 

Not much about the origins of pimento cheese is known, however, recipes from the late 1800s have been found describing a spread made with cream cheese and pimento peppers. Not everyone likes this Southern delicacy, however, it can easily be modified to one’s own tastes. Some ingredients can be omitted and replaced with other popular add-ins such as mustard, worcestershire sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, diced onions, pickles, and more. 

There are many places to find this delicious spread, but some of the most popular eateries offering it in the Charleston area include Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, Charleston Artisan Cheese House, and the Glass Onion. All of these places add something to this traditional spread which makes it unique, so it is recommended that you try at least one.