The Power of Pimento

The Power of Pimento

Trends are a fickle thing. The latest craze can be a brand new invention the world has never seen or an old classic being reinvented for a new generation. So it is with that Southern staple—pimento cheese.

Stopping by to pick up a container of “Myrick’s pimento cheese” will be a lasting memory for many shoppers who frequented the counter at Paducah’s landmark grocery. It was with great relief to many a hometown sandwich-maker when SuperValu started providing the cheesy lunch spread after the Myrick men retired their own personal concoction. In addition to its in-house version, SuperValu also offers Kentucky Natural Farms out of Uniontown, KY.

“My grandfather was always so proud the pimento cheese was popular in Paducah,” remembers Shannon Livingston, Lester Myrick’s granddaughter. “I always love it when I’m around town and someone is eating pimento cheese and they say to me, ‘It’s good but it’s not Myrick’s!”

Andy Carlos and the gang at Midtown Market (located in the old Myrick’s building) have taken a bite out of the pimento trend and are now offering a variety of formulas for this classic picnic staple. (There is actually an establishment in Los Angeles totally devoted to gourmet pimento cheese. We kid you not.) From spicy pimento to white cheddar pimento cheese, Paducah’s next generation of grocers are totally in sync with the “new” pimento cultural cuisine sweeping the country.

“I remember going on vacation in the early 60s when I was young,” recalls Darlene Mazzone, Executive Editor of PADUCAH LIFE Magazine. “We always ate lunch at picnic tables off the two-lane highways and byways in the days of no air conditioning and $12 motels! My mother would stock the car with wide-mouth jars of creamy pimento cheese—that was our preference—and tuna salad, and we would lunch our way through a loaf of Bunny Bread during the first few days of our annual trek. Pimento cheese will always bring back those sentimental memories of summer days and roadside family fare.”

Do you have a special pimento cheese recipe or a memory that hearkens back to this heralded edible? Share your remembrance at our PADUCAH LIFE Facebook page!

Bon Appétit!

Join the discussion