If there's more of a comfort food than pimento cheese, I haven't discovered it yet. When I was little, my mother made pimento cheese sandwiches to take on picnics, and those sandwiches are still my No. 1 choice for a picnic. Actually, they're my No. 1 choice for a sandwich anytime.
Southern Living magazine paid tribute to pimento cheese in a February issue, providing the recipes of five masters of the South's favorite sandwich spread and even recommending a few brands you can buy in the grocery or order online.
One recipe is from Chef Louis Osteen, who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2004. Pimento cheese played an important role in his South Carolina restaurants, and he called it the Pate of the South.
A simple pimento cheese spread isn't difficult to make, but fortunately there are some great choices these days if you want to buy it instead. Southern Living recommends five, including Palmetto Cheese, the creation of Sassy Henry of Pawleys Island. She had her husband, Brian, own the Sea View Inn in Pawleys Island, where her pimento cheese is a longtime favorite. There's the original Palmetto Cheese, one with jalapenos and one with bacon. All three are delicious. It's available in many grocery stores and online. (If you visit Pawleys Island, check out Get Carried Away, their carry-out business that offers lots of yummy foods.
Another recommended brand is Callie's Pimento Cheese from Callie's Charleston Biscuits in Charleston. It's also available in the fiery version.