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The Masters Pimento Cheese sandwich



March 26, 2019

The classic Masters-Style Pimento Cheese Sandwich

   It's one of the best deals in sports food. The Pimento Cheese sandwich at Augusta National will only set you back $1.50.  If you want to add chips and a sweet tea - it's only $3.00. Made fresh daily and wrapped in a fairway-green plastic bag, it's a tradition like nothing else.


For forty-five years, a caterer named Nick Rangos from nearby Aiken, South Carolina, prepared the famous pimento cheese sandwich. It's the most famous sandwich in all of sport.

In the early days, they were made by a local couple, Hodges and Ola Herndon, in the kitchen of their house down on Kissingbower Road. Back then they cost 25 cents. When the tournament grew, the Hodges dropped out, and Augusta National hired Rangos instead.

But in 1998, the club switched to "Wife Saver," a local Augusta restaurant chain that had been responsible for making the tournament’s fried chicken sandwiches.

After winning the contract, franchise owner Ted Godfrey attempted to recreate Rangos’ pimento cheese. Godfrey presented several batches to Augusta National, but something was missing. Luckily, a woman who worked for the tournament had frozen a batch of the original, and after comparing it to his version, Godfrey finally hit on a formula that seemed right. For the next fifteen years, he served this recipe at the course during Masters Week. In 2013, the tournament once again changed vendors. This time, people noticed.

What made Masters pimento cheese so special? Rangos, who passed away in 2018, even admitted he wasn’t sure. Wife Saver is tight-lipped when it comes to their version, too. “There are definitely a couple things we do differently,” says owner Chris Cunningham, who began working for the company his father founded when he was just twelve years old. “Like our fried chicken recipe, it’s very simple,” he says. “Simple is better.” 


   For years Ted’s restaurant in Augusta was the only way to get his delicious pimento cheese. in 2019, they experimented on a deal with GoldBelly, a company that ships local cuisines nationwide. 

The pimento cheese shipped with ice packs every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (bread not included.) Prices ranged from $49 for 2 lbs, to $89 for 6 pounds. The order, “also included green plastic sandwich bags to truly recreate the Augusta experience." 

Like so many things nowadays, it is no longer available.

Here are a few recipes for "The caviar of the South" as it's known.


"Par 3 Tea-Time" Pimento-n-cheese recipe

You'll need:

3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese

4 oz crumbled blue cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 (4-oz) jar sliced pimentos, drained

1 cup light mayo

2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 loaf of white bread

Combine cheeses, pimentos, mayo, and mustard in a food processor and process until smooth. Cover and chill. Spread on bread slices. Makes four sandwiches.

From the book Par 3 Tea-Time at the Masters by the Junior League of Augusta, Ga., available on Amazon.

Lakeside Pimento Cheese sandwiches

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 24 Mini Sandwiches


24 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cup sliced green olives with pimento

1 teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons minced chives

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Tabasco Sauce to taste

Pepperidge Farm Party bread in dark pumpernickel or Jewish rye.


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix until thoroughly combined.

Make sandwiches and enjoy!

Cutting the crust off and wrapping them in green paper is optional.


PlainChicken Pimento cheese


1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp garlic salt

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup diced pimentos

Whip cream cheese until smooth.  Add in mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic salt.  Whip until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.




Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; TheMasters; GolfChannel; AP

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