Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mystery Meat's culinary cousin

On my first visit with my then girlfriend/future wife to the state of Oklahoma, I was lounging around her parent's house, looking for something to snack on. My future M-i-L told me to find something in the fridge and help myself.

So I did.

I grabbed a box of Triscuits out of the pantry. It had been previously opened, so I knew I wouldn't be commiting any food faux paux's by being the first to crack open a new box of snacks.

I had my crackers.

Perusing futher into the frigidaire before me, I stumbled upon a strange and wonderous concoction in the cheese drawer that looked completely and totally inedible. It was dayglo orange in hue, had the consitency of overly curdled cottage cheese and Peter Pan peanut butter...the chunky kind.

But, since it was in the cheese drawer, and the label on the plastic contaner clearly stated that it did contain a cheese spread of some kind, I figured it was not only edible, but would make quite the retro-chic fashion statement once scooped out and placed on my snackin' cracker.

I had my dip.

Off to the kitchen counter I went, anxious to sample my recent dietary digestibles.

The bright orange "cheese dip" was creamy, and salty and sweet all at the same time. It had bits of red squishyness that delicately enhanced the overall texture of the dip, which was both dangerously smooth yet profoundly lumpy. When placed on my "fried-not-baked" cracker of choice, it's bright orange color announced with authority it's presence and station, sitting proudly atop the lowly cracker that only served as it's platform.

I was happy.

In a flash, my M-i-L was standing over me (okay, beside me...she's only 5'4"), glaring at my nosh of choice. She swipes up the plastic dip container, covers it with purpose, and all but throws the orange spread of wonder back into the fridge.

"We use that to make sandwiches. It's not a dip...it's pimento cheese spread."

In all my travels both here and abroad, and all those years spent as a youthful participant of the multiculturally varied southern California lifestyle, I had never been exposed to the compound of bread and dayglo orange curdly spread known as the Pimento Cheese Sandwich.

I imagine all the Southern YASTM blog readers could chime in on this topic with length and humor, as well as any golf buffs that dream of playing at the Masters in Augusta. You Southerner's are a wacky lot. And y'all talk funny too.

While here in my small town, I can name you four local eateries that offer that exact item on their menu.

One place in particular puts a healthy sprig of green leaf lettuce on their Pimento Cheese Sandwich offering. That's my favorite.

And when I do order one to eat, I always make sure to do two things.

1). I order a "PCS," which any astute user of the net, will recognize as the three-letter acronym for the breaded topic of this blog entry. Who knows, it may catch on as the "thing" to order with the local youth and I wil have left my mark on this interesting foodstuff phenomenon.

and 2). I always, always...ask for crackers.


eccentricego said...

That doesn't sound appetizing at all. I guess it's one of those have to try it things.

WarWagon said...

And its also really good stuffed in celery sticks...

Anonymous said...

I ate a pimento cheese sandwich once. And by "ate," I mean, "Took a bite, gagged, and offered the rest to my rat terrier."

Of course, I bought said sandwich from the late Piggly Wiggly at Townwest Shopping Center, which wasn't exactly known as a hotbed of culinary excellence.

Probably would have been better on crackers....

OKDad said...

Ahh, the Piggly Wiggly. I've heard of these exotic purveyors of groceries and household items but have never partook of their delights.

It's now on my list of things to do and places to visit before I die.

Anonymous said...

You aren't missing much. The Piggly Wiggly we had in my hometown for a few years was pretty good -- lots of good buys, and you could get good produce there. The one at Townwest wasn't like that. When it closed, the manager made up some song and dance about how he lost his competitive advantage when Sapulpa annexed Townwest and made his customers pay city sales tax, but the real reason it closed was because people got sick of paying full price for wilted produce and expired cereal. We already have a store that sells second-rate crap, and it doesn't charge nearly as much for it as Piggly Wiggly did.

Anonymous said...

It's Price's, isn't it? Please tell me it's Price's. I love Price's pimento cheese spread. We didn't know it was a regional thing until we moved north and couldn't find it anywhere. Along with Durkee's Famous Sauce, Williams chili seasoning, and Malt O'Meal hot cereal (although they have the MO'M cold cereals).

Some of the grocery stores up here sell a similar product they call "Buffalo Cheese Spread." It's the same consistency and flavor, minus the pimentoes, but it has hot pepper sauce in it. And everybody eats it on crackers. Weirdos.

OKDad said...

Well, to be honest, I don't recall what brand of PCS it was.

Round these parts, every store that sells food items seems to have their own take on the myterious product.

I believe even the mega-food-product giant, Kraft makes their own version.

We, however, get ours "fresh" from Braum's.