The 3 Cheeses You Need To Make Masters Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

For certain die-hard golf lovers, there's the love of the game and then there's the love of the Masters pimento cheese sandwich. In fact, the history of the two is so closely intertwined that it would be hard to imagine one without the other. The legendary Masters Tournament was first held in Augusta, Georgia in 1934. Though it's less clear when exactly the first ever Masters pimento cheese sandwich made its appearance at the Augusta National Golf Club, its invention is credited to Ola and Hodges Herndon, a husband-and-wife team who supplied food to the concession stand starting in the late 1940s. The Herndons prepared this snack for golf fans attending the annual spring event for roughly a decade, at which point a catering service took their place, but the Herndons' pimento cheese sandwich remains an iconic feature of the menu today.

One of the key characteristics that accounts for this sandwich's fame is the use of not one, not two, but three kinds of cheese. In between two layers of soft white bread, you'll find the mild spiciness of pimento peppers paired with a mix of cheddar, Monterey jack, and cream cheese.

Other notable foods from the Masters Tournament

At $1.50 a piece, the Masters pimento cheese sandwich continues to be an affordable option for hungry visitors to the Augusta National Golf Club concession stand — though the price has increased considerably from when it was first offered nearly 80 years ago for $0.25. Likewise, the Masters egg salad sandwich shares a long history at the tournament and can be purchased at the same low cost. For an extra $2.50, attendees can add one of the Masters' famous ice cream sandwiches — made with local Georgia peaches — to their order.

For those who love the Masters menu, the introduction of the Taste of the Masters Kit in 2020 marked a historic moment for celebration. Fans can now order their favorite foods for delivery straight to their front door. The largest version of the kit serves about 12 to 14 people and costs $176 — which comes down to about $15 per person — and is packed with all the hits, including both the pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches, as well as the pulled pork BBQ sandwich, two kinds of potato chips, Georgia pecan caramel popcorn, and chocolate chip cookies. Customers will also get everything they need to host, including wrapping paper, cups, and coasters. You'll need your own bread, however.

Ways to level up or shake up your pimento cheese sandwich

The Masters Tournament takes place during the first week of April each year, but you can recreate the magic at home any time. Whether you opt to make a pimento cheese recipe from scratch or you purchase yours at the grocery store, it's important to note that the Masters version is all about simplicity, but in the comfort of your own kitchen, you can feel free to get creative. One of the benefits of preparing it at home is that you can make the most of those three cheeses by transforming the sandwich into a grilled cheese to enjoy hot off the griddle for a crispy exterior and a perfect cheese pull.

Another easy way to make it your own is to substitute the classic white bread for another bread of your choice. To add a dark, earthy flavor, try using rye. Or, lean into the southern origins of this tradition and slather your pimento cheese between two pieces of a sliced buttermilk biscuit.

Alternatively, you may want to swap out the bread entirely for something a little more exciting. For a unique iteration with a similar flavor profile, try grilled corn fritters topped with pimento cheese. You can also tweak the recipe to make it better suited for breakfast and whip up a stack of pimento cheese waffles.