Pimento Cheese Festival Brings the Heat to Downtown

Cary, NC – What’s your favorite cheese? If it’s anything other than pimento, you need to adjust your mindset by Saturday, June 9, 2018 because Downtown Cary will be celebrating all things pimento with restaurants, food trucks and even a sculpting competition.

The Caviar of the South

From 11 AM to 4 PM along S Academy Street in Downtown Cary, visitors will be able to enjoy new pimento cheese dishes and sample different kinds of pimento cheese made by local downtown restaurants.

Why an entire festival dedicated to this one cheese? Firstly, it’s delicious. But secondly, pimento cheese has a long history in the South. The mixture of cheese, mayonnaise and lightly spicy pimiento peppers started in the late 19th Century when farmers were making softer cheeses, predating the invention of cream cheese. At the same time, Spain was exporting the pimiento pepper and home cooks began mixing the two.

The mixture was so popular that, by World War II, Georgia farmers were trying to grow the pepper themselves and the popularity of pimento cheese expanded even more. Then, as national appetites for pimento cheese started to drop and big chains stopped stocking grocery store chains with the product, more and more Southern chefs continued to make it at home. And thus, pimento cheese was cemented as a Southern product, so synonymous that TV audiences everywhere saw “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” hitman Mike Ehrmantraut call pimento cheese “the caviar of the South.”

Downtown Cary

What to Expect at the Festival

Visitors to Downtown Cary during the Pimento Cheese Festival will get to sample pimento cheese made by chefs at Crosstown Pub, Kababish Café, La Farm, Once in a Blue Moon, Postmaster, The Mayton Inn and The Upper Deck.

Food trucks will also line Academy Street, including:

Also there will be beer and wine vendors from around the area, as well as Cary locals Bond Brothers Beer Company, Fortnight Brewing, Jordan Lake Brewing Company and Chatham Hill Winery.

Guests will also be able to hear music from two different local bands: Mysti Mayhem Trio and Soul Psychedelique.

But making the event truly unique will be a sculpting competition where visitors will have to craft soft pimento cheese into whatever sculpture or structure they can mold.

Event Details

Pimento Cheese Festival

11 AM to 4 PM

Saturday, June 9, 2018

S Academy Street, between Dry Avenue and Waldo Street

Pimento Cheese

Story by staff reports. Photos by Hal Goodtree and Carol VanHook.