As a recent transplant to the deep south I feel compelled to embrace some of the very things that make this part of the country unique and in a quiet sitting on the porch and wondering where the river flows kind of beauty I can’t seem to get enough of…I’m lead quite happily to the local gastronomical delights. I’ve been told by more people than I can count and read in many more books that pimento spread is about as southern as you can get. Thus my quest, to find the recipe or the maker of what can officially be called the “very best, most delicious, mouth watering and slow grunting yummy pimento sprea out there”. The search begins with a quirky little tome: “Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialities” by Julia Reed. Last week I made I made a batch (not certain if thats the correct term) of Craig Claiborne’s Pimento Cheese Spread. I followed the recipe to the letter and everyone at the House of The Wild Hare declared it tasty. We did discuss things that could be different : homemade mayo v. Duke’s mayo…our own canned sweet cherry peppers v. pimentos…white cheddar v. orange-y sharp cheddar…the variations could go on forever. But, this afternnon, we made a batch with all the same ingredients except for substituting Vlasic’s roasted red pepper strips for pimentos. It was very good, there’s no doubt about that…but, it wasn’t pimento cheese spread. I’m not sure if the pimentos are preserved in a different brine/liquid as the sweet peppers or what, but it our end product is a yummy roasted red pepeer and cheese dip…not the southern delicacy that proves to be rather elusive. So, we push on, our hopes high…Anyone know where I can hire a sherpa? A guide to the sweet and savory world of pimento cheese spread?