CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Cheesy ideas for Southern pâté

Published 5:53 am Monday, March 18, 2024

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We know pimento cheese is a “southern thing.”

When we see a platter featuring a cheerful orange peeping out from sandwiches or in the center of a dip spread, we know there is a party going on. I hear there are nicknames of our elixir, such as Carolina Caviar and Southern pâté.

Imagine my surprise when a northern friend of ours recently told how when he moved down here, he wondered what was up with all the “yucky” cheese sandwiches.

Bless his heart.

We’ll stick to the pimento cheese, thank you. I’m always up for variations.

Here’s how we do it: My mom sometimes added chopped olives, either black or green, for color and flavor. This recipe lives on in my daughter’s memory.

We’ve also added shredded or ground carrots to promote healthy sandwiching, pecans and other surprises.

Crackers are classic for the crunch, and pretzels add visuals to your spread. For color and good health, I put out green apples, celery and green onions as dippers as well.

Here’s how Birdie’s does it: I’ve been sampling some Birdie’s Pimento Cheese and these variations are all just right. Robin Allen was in the printing business when cheese called her. This Southern Virginia small batch company is at

Look there for ideas on transforming content from these little tubs from ready-to-go perfection into something bigger, like a potato topper, slider or adding sausage into the mix.

Pairings: So now, Southerners, let’s get fancy and discuss pimento cheese wine and beer pairings.

Here’s what Birdie’s suggests, and who am I to argue?

  • Classic, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, Pilsners
  • Garlic Parmesan: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sour Ales
  • Jalapeno: Riesling, Syrah, Stouts
  • Olive: Champagne, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Pepper: Merlot, Chardonnay, India Pale Ales
  • Cream Cheese, Black Pepper: Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Ciders
  • Onion Dill: Dark Ales

Got Cheesy Ideas?

Share how you enjoy or jazz up pimento cheese, or any other sandwich, at by emailing me at the address below. Let me know if we can share your name and ideas with other readers.

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie who recently shared a pimento cheese on croissant with zero regrets. Share your cheesy ideas with her at