Cheese, Please — And Make It Pimento-Style

Birdie's Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper Pimento Cheese spread makes a ham sandwich something special.
Birdie’s Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper Pimento Cheese spread makes a ham sandwich something special.

I love all things cheese, but I confess that pimento cheese was not something I grew up with.

You might not have, either, unless you hail from the South, where it’s a staple.

Thanks to Robin Allen and her husband Glenn, aka Bubba, you can enjoy delectable pimento cheese in classic and creative flavor combinations with their Birdie’s Pimento Cheese company in Virginia that ships nationwide.

After 25 years of owning their own printing business, Robin got the notion to start selling her homemade pimento cheese at a local farmers market — at the age of 50. That first day, she sold out of all 30 tubs, sparking the couple to sell the printing business and go into pimento cheese-making full-time.

Now, you’ll find it sold at a range of specialty food stores, including the Epicurean Trader in San Francisco and Deuces Market in Napa.

Pimento cheese is a spread that’s made with cheese (typically cheddar), mayonnaise, and pimentos. It’s great spread on biscuits or sandwiches, stuffed into a baked potato, or as part of a charcuterie, crudite or cracker platter. Some pimento cheese is uniformly smooth, while others like Birdie’s have visible grated cheese mixed in.

I had a chance to try samples of five Birdie’s flavors recently: Classic, Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper, Jalapeno, Cream Cheese & Black Pepper, and Garlic Parmesan.

They come in convenient, resealable tubs.
They come in convenient, resealable tubs.

Each of them is very thick and creamy. The Classic really lets the sweet, slightly vegetative taste of the red peppers shine through. The Smoked Gouda & Red Pepper, richer tasting with a subtle caramel note, made for a delightful addition to a ham panini.

The Jalapeno is completely mild in heat, putting the grassiness of the jalapeno at the forefront instead. The Cream Cheese & Black Pepper one is revved up in richness. I used it in a favorite mac ‘n’ cheese recipe and it definitely made it taste more luxurious.

Birdie's Classic served with crackers.
Birdie’s Classic served with crackers.

The Garlic Parmesan is indeed garlicky, but not overbearing. It has the quintessential taste of garlic bread and just begs to be spread lavishly on french bread.

Birdie’s has 110 to 120 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, 10 to 13g total fat, 20 to 25mg cholesterol, 190 to 220mg sodium, 4g of protein, and 113 to 139mg calcium, depending on the flavor.

The resealable 8-ounce tubs for about $10.50. You can also build your own 6-variety bundle for $64.95 with free shipping through the Birdie’s site.

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  • I grew up in the south and can’t begin to imagine how many pimento cheese sandwiches I eaten although I have never had one hot.

  • Hi Karen: I must say, when it gets all melty and gooey like in this panini, it’s even more irresistible. 😉

  • Jean Kovalenko Prater

    We experienced Birdies Pimento cheese several years ago and immediately became obsessed. We especially like some of the seasonal flavors like Olive and Ghost Pepper. Our favorite recipe is adding it to a pulled pork panini.

  • I’m a big Birdie’s fan! I especially love the jalapeno in jalapeno poppers or scrambled eggs. And the smoked gouda makes a loaded baked potato really special.

  • Billie Raines

    My daughter is hosting a graduation party this weekend. I ordered her favorites – the Original and the Roasted Red Pepper & Gouda in a gift pack to add to the festivities. It really is not a party without Birdies!

  • Hi Jean: Admittedly, the ghost pepper one scares me just a little. But the cheese is so good, I’d be willing to brave it, as I’m sure it’s phenomenal. This stuff is so dangerous to have in the fridge. LOL

  • Hi Beth: Ooh, I’m going to try the jalapeno one in scrambled eggs. That sounds amazing — maybe with a side of avocado toast, too. Glad you’re such a fan. And I’m tickled to join that club now, too.

  • Hi Billie: That is ideal for a party like that! Congrats to your daughter on graduating, too. You must be beaming. Have a thoroughly cheesy celebration. 😉

  • You guys are so wonderful!! I appreciate all the love you send our way. I hope I always do you proud!

  • Hi Robin: You know you are putting out a great product when you have so many gushing fans! Congrats!

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