Caviar of the South: 9 Pimento Cheese Appetizers Y’All Are Gonna Love

Nicknamed “the caviar of the South,” pimento cheese is a staple below the Mason-Dixon line. It’s usually made from just a few ingredients – cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pimento peppers, onion, and a few seasonings, including cayenne pepper for a little kick. Often, it’s simply served with Ritz crackers and whatever pickles are in the larder. Here are 9 takes on the beloved Southern snack.

City Tap House Dupont, Washington, D.C.
This pimento cheese is super spreadable. Slather it on the accompanying Ritz crackers and top it off with a couple of pickled jalapenos for a spicy pop. Folds of prosciutto are available for an additional charge and are worth the splurge. Make a reservation at City Tap House Dupont.

pimento cheese

Bocado, Atlanta, Georgia
You could call this the Holy Trinity of the South. Pimento cheese is paired with toast rounds and bread and butter pickles. Hallelujah! Make a reservation at Bocado.

pimento cheese

The Mockingbird, Nashville, Tennessee
The dish is actually called Rice, Rice Baby. Pimento cheese packed deep-fried arancini balls come with chamoy (Mexican fruit sauce) for dipping. We’re sure Vanilla Rice would love them. Make a reservation at the Mockingbird.

pimento cheese

1KEPT, Charleston, South Carolina
Meet the Mason-Dixon cheese board. Grilled sourdough comes blanketed with pimento cheese. On the side, there’s tomato jam, whole grain mustard, bacon jam, and a plethora of pickled veg. Make a reservation at 1KEPT.

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Succotash, Washington, D.C.
The South meets South of the Border. Gooey pimento cheese fundido coronated with corn relish and caramelized onions comes in a charming little cast iron pan. It’s served with seed crackers and grilled flatbread, so you can dunk. Make a reservation at Succotash.

pimento cheese

Untitled, New York, New York
This pimento is forged from Jasper Hill Farm’s sharp cheddar and ricotta, which adds a fluff factor. Smoked jalapeños add pleasant punch. Triangles of crispy flatbread crackers fill out the pretty presentation. Make a reservation at Untitled.

pimento cheese

Mity Nice, Chicago, Illinois
We love a good grilled cheese. This is a great one. A generous swipe of pimento cheddar is complemented with applewood smoked bacon, while watercress offers a little levity. Make a reservation at Mity Nice.

pimento cheese

The Arthur J, Manhattan Beach, California
Pimento cheese gets coupled with house-made, Toulouse-style pork sausage. The delicious duo comes with baked baguette, grapes, and horseradish mustard. Build your bite and enjoy. Make a reservation at the Arthur J.

pimento cheese

Stiltsville Fish Bar, Miami Beach, Florida
Whoever invented deep fried cheese was a genius. This hefty croquette reveals a lava flow of melted pimento cheese when it’s cracked open. Pickled green tomatoes and molasses vinegar offer an acidic counterpoint to the intense richness. Make a reservation at Stiltsville Fish Bar.

pimento cheese

Who makes the best pimento cheese? Tell us where here or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.

Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.

Photo credits: Taylor Wallace (Bocado); Liz Clayman (untitled); Mity Nice (Anjali Pinto); Emily Hall (Mockingbird).