This week my husband had the opportunity to attend The Masters practice round in Augusta, GA. Apparently the pimento cheese sandwich they serve at the Masters is famous. I had no idea! I grew up eating pimento cheese sandwiches with green olives because that is how my mom served them. She said she learned how to make them in high school and got the recipe from a magazine. I must admit, I actually learned a few things while attempting to make this classic sandwich a little healthier. I knew that pimentos were basically red cherry peppers, but I didn’t realize that they were low sodium. I guess I was expecting them to be much saltier because I had only eaten them served with green olives. However, when jared separately, they are not salty at all! There is basically zero sodium in the jarred pimentos. Mind = blown. I can’t wait to use these in future recipes! And now a word from my husband…..
Ben: At the top of the list of traditions celebrated at the Masters is their food. After entering the lottery for tickets for years, I won this year and my dad, father-in-law and brother-in-law traveled to Augusta, Georgia for this once in a lifetime event. Like good caddies, every person I surveyed before going said, “you’ve got to try the Pimento Cheese sandwiches” and then they would remark about a Sandwich costing $1.50 and Coke being a $1.00.
We arrived at 8:00 when gates opened, bought some logo apparel and headed straight to Amen Corner, the iconic three holes which words cannot describe their beauty, and I don’t need to, because this is a food blog. In just over 2 hours, the alarm sounded, letting us know that our Masters day would be cut short due to lightning approaching. As we begin to make our way through the holes, I reminded our group of the tradition, that we could not leave without a Pimento Cheese sandwich and we headed for the nearest snack location. To our amazement, the incredibly friendly staff delivered on the tradition. I enjoyed my pimento cheese sandwich just before leaving the golf course.
It is always an honor you are invited into someone’s tradition, whether that occurs at their dinner table or the most inaccessible golf course in the country. In fact, many of the winners of the Masters have remarked about the unique tradition that the winner of the previous year’s green jacket chooses the menu for the golfers the following year (and has to pay for it’s preparation). This year Adam Scott, last year’s winner has a great menu starting with “bugs” (lobster) calamari, steak and fruit pavlova inspired by his Australian roots.
As we spent our rainy day in Augusta, we found some other treasures like Buona Caffe Coffee,a fantastic local coffee shop who shared with great pride that their coffee is served in the Governor’s Mansion and I can see why it was a great latte. They were also the first to inform us that we would be able to come back next year to the Masters and our tickets would be refunded. We will be back next year to enjoy cheese sandwiches, oh and golf too.
Amber here…and now for a little more talk about the recipe and the nutrition. Using the ingredients listed on the wrapper (see below), I basically came up with my own ingredient amounts and then I made my own lighter version. Holy pimento batman…there was almost a 300 calorie difference between the original and this version! This healthier version is still around 300 calories per sandwich and does contain more sodium than I would like to see, but it’s definitely an improvement. You can also quarter these sandwiches (as pictured) and serve with fruits and veggies for your golf parties. If you’re watching sodium intake, I would limit to half a sandwich and fill up on fresh fruit and veggies.