Saturday, July 18, 2009

Spread the Love

It seems that there is a kind of renaissance happening with pimento cheese. For whatever reason the mainstay of church picnics and ladies luncheons has gained popularity amongst chefs and foodies and it seems that everyone now wants to cast their vote as to what the best recipe is. People are debating over sharp or mild cheese, pimentos from a jar or fresh roasted peppers, spicy or not and on into the most appropriate method of consumption. For what it's worth in this little meditation, I don't care to debate over who's better and who's best.

The pimento cheese dialog going on right now has me thinking about something James Beard said. He observes, "Food is our common ground, a universal experience". I think that pimento cheese, from all walks, deserves a spot on the table of the common ground of our universal experience. The greatness of pimento cheese lies in it's diversity. It's not unique to one racial or ethnic group. The flavors are as unique as the people who craft their individual recipes. When someone offers up a bowl of pimento cheese at a social gathering or an intimate meal then the occasion immediately becomes comfortably special. Just thinking about pimento cheese sort of conjurs up the images of easy afternoons with some saltines, sweet tea and conversations that can drift off in any direction. Those are the times we find our common ground.

Inside the walls of our restaurant we certainly have our recipe and reasons for making pimento cheese the way we do but once it leaves the kitchen we hope the tables it occupies are places where folks can have those easy experiences that make life a little richer. We also hope that wherever people are in the pimento cheese conversation they will help spread the love to just a few more folks.

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