As The Masters approaches, the smell of azaleas and fresh cut grass hit the air. Some dream of a Tiger comeback. Others miss Arnie’s Army. Spring has officially sprung in Augusta that second weekend in April. And if there is anything for sure those 4 days it’s you will only pay $1.50 for a Coke. Ham and Cheese on Rye: $2.50. $3 domestic beers. And the piece de resistance: $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches.
The Masters’ pimento cheese is as American as apple pie. It’s a tradition. And we found the recipe through some research that what you get today, is actually the third different pimento cheese recipe served at the Masters.
For 40 years an Aiken, SC caterer named Nick Rangos served what many consider the best of the 3. But, in 1998 The powers that be decided to cancel his contract and go with Augusta local restaurant Wife Saver. Rangos was obviously upset. So, he refused to give the folks at ANGC the recipe and took the secret ingredient he used to his grave. Or, so he thought.
Wife Saver’s owner Ted Godfrey couldn’t replicate the recipe. But, as luck would have it, an employee of the course had frozen some from the year before. And Godfrey found Rango’s supplier and got him to confess to the ingredients.
Funny thing is, Godfrey kept the recipe to himself also. And in 2013 ANGC changed vendors again. And again, Godfrey refused to give up the secret ingredient. Seems according to most, that the new vendor finally figured it out. But, it seems that again, the secret ingredient is unknown.
So, you will find many variations of the “original” recipe, we scoured for consistencies and here is the recipe we came up with. The true pimento cheese should be consistent. Not a glob of wet cheese mess. This is the key to it all.
- 4 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese; shredded
- 2 Cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese; shredded
- 16 oz package Cream Cheese - softened
- 8 Tbsp Pimentos - drained
- 1 Tsp garlic seasoning
- 3 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 8 Tbsp Mayonnaise - Duke's or Hellman's
- Start by hand grating the sharp cheddar & the Extra sharp cheddar cheese. The grating of the cheese is so important for the texture. Use a box grater and grate on the side with the large grooves.
- In another bowl, mix the room temperature cream cheese, black pepper, mayonnaise & sea salt.
- Then mix the grated cheese with the other ingredients. Combine, being careful to preserve the grate cheese texture.
- Once combined add in the pimentos last. The reason to wait until the last step to add the pimentos is to protect their shape and texture.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerator 12 to 36 hours for flavor development.
- Preferably served with white or wheat bread.
- You may buy cheese already grated, but, if you do buy the thick shredded cheese.
- Adding a 'lil Tabasco is permitted for those who need a little spice in their lives.