Our Foodie Friday topic this week is pimento cheese. Unless you live below the Mason-Dixon line in the US or are a regular attendee of the Masters Tournament, you might be unfamiliar with the stuff. My late father in law was from South Carolina and it was in his home that I received my introduction to it. Having grown up in New York, I had no clue that pimento cheese was, and is, a staple in most southern homes.
At its core, pimento cheese is just cheddar cheese, pimentos, and mayonnaise. That said, very few people I know who make the stuff make it that way. I’m partial to Craig Claiborne‘s recipe which incorporates two kinds of cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, scallions, garlic, and hot sauce along with the basics. Other folks will argue for hours about which kind of mayo is best, Duke’s being the regional favorite. Bell peppers, sugar, cream cheese and other ingredients might make appearances as well.
It’s great to keep a tub of pimento cheese in your fridge for a quick snack. You can also make sandwiches, slather the stuff on burgers, or use it as a dip. It actually has an interesting history that dates back to the early 20th century. As with barbecue, there are regional variations. There are also dozens of pre-made brands sold in the supermarkets although I’m fairly certain one can whip up a batch in less time than it takes to go shopping for the inferior, premade product. What’s the business point?
As with pimento cheese, there is no single right way to accomplish most business goals. Very often, the route we choose is based on the resources we have, just as the final cheese product can depend on what’s lying around the pantry. We need to keep open minds about proposed solutions and keep them as simple as possible. One needn’t go to the trouble of making mayo or using fancy cheese in order to get a great result. The best recipe is the one that gives you an outcome that pleases you the most, both in the kitchen and in business.
I wrote about pimento cheese a few years ago. I ended that post by reminding us that our job as managers is to get everyone on the same page no matter which recipe we settle upon. Good advice then as well as now, I hope. Enjoy the weekend!