GREENSBORO, N.C., April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it was a pinkish-orange, store-bought version smeared on soft white bread at your grandmother's summer lake house, an exquisitely textured and perfectly seasoned version served on homemade ancient grain crackers at a five-star restaurant, or one of any countless versions in between, memories of that first bite of pimento cheese are both special and lasting.
And just as there are innumerable unique memories around this savory spread, there are myriad ways to make and enjoy it. Quite simply, there is a pimento cheese for everybody.
As a tribute to this iconic and cherished culinary staple, and in recognition of its own storied history with the product, The Fresh Market is declaring April 9 as National Pimento Cheese Day.
The Fresh Market introduced its version of pimento cheese, based on a company founder's family recipe, as its first private label product in 1983 and, to date, has sold more than 11 million pounds of it to customers across the country.
To celebrate this delicious dish, the specialty grocer is spreading its love for pimento cheese with recipes, tips, a social media contest and more.
The History: Pimento Cheese Is Not Just a Southern Thing
First emerging in the United States in the early 1900s, pimento cheese originally appeared in Northern test kitchens after the introduction of cream cheese. It was served as a delicacy on crustless sandwiches at tea parties across the nation.
According to The Fresh Market's culinary expert Sheri Castle, "The classic spread combines the simple, yet elegant flavors of good quality cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos. But from that point on, everything is up for debate."
Depending on personal preference and family tradition, pimento cheese can require a specific kind of mayonnaise or hot sauce, for example. Also a topic of heated discourse is the use of yellow or white cheddar, or a combination of the two.
Additional ingredients can range from Worcestershire sauce to grated onion, ketchup to pickled ramps. And the texture is important as well – some people like their pimento cheese creamy, with hand-grated cheese and extra mayonnaise, while others prefer a drier, chunkier spread made in a food processor.
The Fresh Market offers three different varieties in its private brand alone, to satisfy the needs of its many pimento cheese-loving customers.
"Whether it's creamy, chunky, peppery, plain, store-bought, or homemade," says Castle, "there's a pimento cheese for everyone to love."
Perhaps the reason there are so many variations is that most pimento cheese recipes hail from home kitchens and are passed down through generations. The Fresh Market's own family recipe is derived from…well, actually, that's a secret the company isn't willing to share.
About The Fresh Market, Inc.
Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. The company currently operates 187 stores in 27 states across the U.S. The Fresh Market is an equal opportunity employer. For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com.
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SOURCE The Fresh Market