It’s funny how tastes remain with you for long periods of time. It seems like just last week that I was on a church picnic at Beaver Creek Lake just outside Beckley, WV. I was 9 or 10. Boy, what a spread those Beckley Presbyterian Church ladies set before us. Fried chicken, ham biscuits, yeast rolls, homemade pies and cakes, but the one thing I remember to this day were the pimento cheese sandwiches. Whoever made them, cut off the crusts and spread the tangy pimento cheese on fresh pieces of soft, white bread. How many ever she could make was how many I could eat. But I didn’t eat all of them. Mom wouldn’t let me.
My Mom also used to make really good homemade pimento cheese. She used extra sharp cheddar. Believe it or not, not everyone likes pimento cheese. It’s really a southern thing and there is one brand on the market that is (almost) as good as I remember from my youth
It’s Palmetto Cheese Spread – “The Pimento Cheese with Soul.”
According to the folks at Palmetto, here’s how it came to be.
The perfect pimento cheese was born in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and you have never had pimento cheese like this. The recipe originated with Sassy Henry. She would whip up batches of her delightful, southern style pimento cheese while living in Atlanta and tailgating at Braves games. Sassy, her husband Brian, and their two children moved to Pawleys Island, SC in 2002 where they took over the historic Sea View Inn. Pawleys is known for its shoeless, laid-back lifestyle which includes crabbing in the marsh, fishing, rope hammocks, and unspoiled beaches and waterways. It is there that Palmetto Cheese was featured as an appetizer each week during the summer low country shrimp boils. Needless to say, it was a guest favorite.
A family friend and cook at Sea View Inn, Vertrella was raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and has been a cook for over 35 years specializing in Gullah and low country cuisine. The recipe for Palmetto Cheese was created by Sassy Henry in the 1990’s, and Vertrella Brown began producing batches of Sassy’s recipe in 2003 for delighted guests at Sea View Inn. Her image personifies the soulful flavor that is embodied in this unique, southern recipe of pimento cheese. And this is why we refer to it as “The Pimento Cheese with Soul”.
Palmetto Cheese was first introduced in local market outlets in Pawleys Island and Georgetown, SC in 2006. During visits to the Lowcountry, tourists would purchase Palmetto Cheese® to take home and share with family and friends. Since the inception of Palmetto Cheese, Brian has applied his background in business, marketing, and customer management to expand the brand from a few local retailers to over 9,000 grocery stores in 48 states. With a steady and persistent approach toward growth, Brian has directed and managed the expansion of Palmetto Cheese to become the #1 cheese spread in America (Nielsen 2019).
All I can say is that when you take a bite of a Palmetto Cheese sandwich, it has that extra kick of “soul.” It is delicious. Try some. It’s available at Food Lion.