The South's Signature Sandwich

By Ari Weinzweig
weinzweig june1 pimento post.jpg

Photo by biskuit/Flickr CC


This is a sandwich that's been high on my list of late. It's sort of that all-around, all-good-things-in-one, seemingly simple sandwich that would be hard not to love unless you don't like pimento cheese or don't eat bacon.

It's a simple sandwich, really--a whole lot of our pimento cheese, along with a couple slices of Arkansas Peppered bacon, grilled on the Bakehouse's Brewhouse Bread (made with beer from Michigan Brewing).

The cheese isn't really fully melted--just soft--so it sort of gushes out the sides a bit when you eat the sandwich, but what's wrong with that? As long as you can handle licking your fingers a bit to get 'em cleaned up while you're eating, you're going to be good shape.

Down South, pimento cheese is a culinary icon--but up here, it's almost probably less familiar to most folks than Pad Thai.

Smoky, slightly spicy Arkansas peppered bacon slices (to quote Rick when we were tasting this together not too long ago: ""Damn, I could eat this bacon all day!") set against the softer, creamier, still slightly spicy richness of the pimento cheese.

I realize in writing that, although it really has become super popular for us at the deli, the likelihood is that most customers in this part of the country, the Midwest, still have no clue as to what pimento cheese actually is.

Down South it's a culinary icon akin to chopped liver for New York Jews or chocolate to Parisians--but up here, it's almost probably less familiar to most folks than Pad Thai. In either case, it's a spread, not something you slice. Everyone's got their own, usually held close to the heart, recipe.

If you don't know it, ours starts with cheddar from Grafton Village in Vermont, enhanced and creamed up with a good bit of Hellman's mayonnaise and roasted red peppers (aka "pimentos"). Mail Order's been shipping a fair bit of it so if you've considered sending a good gift to someone you know who's from the South but doesn't live there anymore, or just someone who likes cheese and likes spicy stuff, this is a good way to go.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/06/the-souths-signature-sandwich/1173/