Pimento Cheese

We normally do food related posts on Fridays here on the screed but since there is something else that deserves out attention happening tomorrow I’m doing our Foodie Friday Fun post today.

Pimento cheese on Ritz crackers.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week’s topic is a food that is a staple here are Rancho Deluxe and in many homes – most of them a lot further south than here – around the country:  Pimento Cheese.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, pimento cheese is a blend of cheese and pimentos and other ingredients.  About the only thing about which most folks agree is that it has to have cheese and pimentos and that some of the cheese needs to be yellow cheddar.  Things diverge from there.

Mayonnaise?  Pickle juice? Worcestershire sauce?  Other cheeses?  Cream cheese? Cayenne pepper?  Vinegar?  Depending on one’s tastes and, more importantly, family traditions, the answer is a resounding “yes” or unwavering “no”.  Every family has its own recipe and unique prep method.  Basically, if it’s not made the way your mom or grandmother makes it, the spread is just not right.  It’s a simple food that restaurants often dress up (Abbamare infused pimento cheese with heirloom peppers – shoot me!) unnecessarily. It’s also the sort of food that demonstrates a few very basic truths about business.

First, when you’re charging people with a task, be very specific if you’re expecting a specific result.  “Make me pimento cheese” can mean very different things.  “Use this recipe and make me pimento cheese” gets you a better result.  Second, there is usually more than one way to get an excellent solution.   For those of us who didn’t grow up with a family recipe, tasting different variations on the theme got us to the cheese we enjoy today.  Keep an open mind – accept that many roads lead to Rome – and you’ll be better off.  Finally, don’t make the simple overly complex.  The differences between homemade mayo vs. jarred and imported small batch cheese in pimento cheese are silly other than to justify charging some outrageous price.  Simple is generally better, faster, and more cost-effective.

As with many things in the kitchen and in the office, different people hear the same thing in different ways.  Our job is to get everyone on the same page, working towards the same final product.  Then we get to stand back and watch people enjoy!  You with me?

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