by Evan Hatch
Stan’s is one of those North Carolina answers. Like Duke’s. And Sweet. And “Yes I want slaw on that.” The question is, “What is the bestest pimento cheese ever?” It is rich. It is mayonnaisey. It is so creamy. It is from Burlington. I have not always taken a lot of pride in being from Burlington, North Carolina. Bur-Vegas it was called by bored teenagers. But looking back on it – Burlington proves to be the source of a great plenty of southern food icons. J and G called Burlington home. Zack’s Hotdogs still stands proud. Biscuitville began in Burlington. And it is the bestest pimento cheese ever.
Pimento cheese may be as contested as barbeque. That is an incredibly bold statement, I know. Barbecue is called the “champagne of the South.” Pimento cheese is referred to as the caviar. Look it up. It has been called Southern caviar. Perhaps because it is good on crackers. Truly, like barbecue, it’s all pretty different, and it’s all pretty freaking great. So pimento cheese is as simple as it is complex. Basic recipe calls for cheese (real or processed), Duke’s, pimento. Variants and additions include Worcestershire, garlic, hot sauce, vinegar, cayenne, jalapeno, onion, salt, pepper – it is all up to the maker.
Made In The Triad: “The Original Stan’s Pimento Cheese” as featured on WFMY-2 news, Sept. 21, 2010
In the present Southern food-centered climate, pimento cheese has become the rage. It is dressed up, spread out, dipped into, smeared on – all manner of food from white bread, tomatoes and bacon, to scallops and porterhouse steaks. It really is all pretty good – minus any foolish recipes using salad dressing – from South Carolina’s Palmetto Cheese, to Crook’s Corner’s chef Bill Smith’s sharp take served near pepper jelly and crackers. The variants change with region and imagination, family lineage, and just plain taste.
But some things just don’t need to be messed with. Many other cheese spreads have challenged and fallen. And the Original Stan’s Pimento Cheese threw down the gauntlet long ago. Trust a Burlingtonite, we know our food.
For more information, read Emily Wallace’s thesis:
It Was There for Work: Pimento Cheese in the Carolina Piedmont
by Emily Elizabeth Wallace, M.A. Department of American Studies in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill, 2010
Biscuitville & Stan’s team up!
Available at Food Lion, Lowe’s and Harris Teeter.
Evan is a folklorist currently working with the North Carolina Folklife Institute in Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson & Scotland counties. Since 2002, he worked in Middle Tennessee documenting traditional musical and material culture. He was producer at Spring Fed Records and served as President of the Tennessee Folklore Society.
Rodger Rushing says
I have eat your pimento cheese for years and it has always been a favorite of mine. Today I bought a carton of your pimento from Ingles store in Walnut Cove, NC This was by far the worst pimento I have bought. It was more like soup and did not have much of a taste. I could not make a sandwich with it because it would run off the bread. I am disappointed with this pimento.
Ms. Astrid Saylor says
My family has enjoyed Stan’s pimento cheese for many years. Recently, there seems to have been a couple of changes, e.g., the pimento cheese is not as thick as usual (it’s runny), and a change in the lid construction makes the opening and closing of the carton quite difficult.
I have noticed these differences in the last two cartons purchased and am unhappy with these changes. I hope you will consider going back to the previous recipe and lid construction. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Pat Harris says
I too have a hard time with the lids. Please fix them. Thanks
Kathy Marshall says
I had never had pimiento cheese until I moved to North Carolina many years ago. Yours by far is the best I have had. I have since moved back to my home town in Indiana. Wish you were selling in my area. Thanks for the memories though.
James Williams says
I am have enjoyed your pimento cheese for years.
Unless you do something about it being so runny and the lid is hard to open, I will be changing to another brand.
larry kivett says
I have bought three cartons in the last 4 months and they all have been runny and the lids are hard to remove. The carton that I bought on sept. 23, was so flimsey, that I had to peel it off.
David Rogers says
Pretty good PC….but the lid drives me crazy….FIX IT!
What were you thinking…..I can’t get the lid off.
Have loved your pimento cheese for years. I’ve also noticed the consistency has changed.
Why would you make these changes?
Amen on both. Its way to milky, soupy, with not enough texture!! I’ve always loved it but something has changed over the last 6 months with the product.
Johnathan Cox says
My grandmother Elizaberh Cox who I lost 2 years ago we live in Virginia I remember when I was little someone would ship her a box of stans pimento cheese let me tell you nothing compared. I think she said she knew the owner of the company?? Not sure but I’d like to buy a case bring back some of my best memories. Thanks
Kenneth Long says
Can I get Stan’s Pimento Cheese shipped to my residence? It is not sold in the area I want to have it shipped…
That would be great…..
Fran Smith says
I am so unhappy with your Pimento Cheese. We have not been buying Stan’s lately because we were eating way too much. I have fixed my own for the last few months. Today when I bought groceries, I was craving Stan’s pc sandwich and tomato soup. I was so disappointed when I opened the carton. It was runny and the color also had changed. It would not even stay on the bread when I heated it. I have always been willing to pay more for Stan’s because it was worth it. NOT ANYMORE! I am returning this to Food Lion and will be getting my money back. Please go back to your original recipe.
Ellsworth Chou says
When WFMY-TV special-interest reporter Arlo Lassen asked me to help him with some kind of visual-effects enhancement for a piece he was doing about a pimento cheese manufacturer in Burlington around 1984-5, it was the first I’d heard of Stan’s. Subsequent to working on the project (an excerpt from it can be seen on the YouTube link here), I picked up a container of Stan’s while grocery shopping. As my wife and I say to this day, it was as though I’d never had pimento cheese before that point. All other products pale in comparison, and here in Los Angeles, California where I now live, there is nothing even remotely like what I’d call “pimento cheese.” Every time we visit North Carolina, my mother-in-law makes a point of stocking a tub of Stan’s in her refrigerator, which we work through in lunches and midnight snacks.
What has happened to Stan’s Pimento Cheese??? My last 5 purchases have all been soupy and runny. No substance at all to the spread like I’m use to! Has something happened at the factory? I’m thinking I need to stop buying it.
Mary Morgan says
Love your product. It is my number one choice. But I hate your lid! It is too difficult to open. Could you consider coming up with an easier way to get into your delicious product?
Rodney VonCannon says
My name is Rodney VonCannon. I have an idea to help sell more pimiento cheese. Could Stan’s please
have hot pimiento cheese? In addition, could we give a portion of the proceeds to help people who need food in North Carolina? This would connect the folklore institute to the public even more.
I also would like to see if I could find employment with Stan’s.
gerald bass says
My sister-in-law from Greensboro told my wife and I ,how good Stan`s was. We live in Dunn, and had to put in a request at our local Food Lion for Stan`s. We both love it, and recommend Stan`s.
But we do have one complaint, the pass two times we bought Stan`s. One was the large size and our last purchase, just last weekend was the small size, but the lids on both were bad. Bad to the point that you couldn`t reseal the container correctly.
Please take a look.
Carroll Jolly says
As a Burlington NC native, I grew up on Stan’s pimento cheese. The flavor has always been mild, with a creamy texture. I recently bought a carton at a Food Lion store in Fuquay Varina. It was in date by a full month, but when I got it home, what I saw inside the carton looked nothing like what I am used to seeing. The cheese was in clumps and had darkened especially around the edges of the carton. The creamy texture was nonexistent. I tried a taste and it tasted almost bitter. I hope you haven’t changed your recipe because nothing else comes close to this delicious cheesy spread. Please bring back the original 1960’s recipe that I remember and love!!
Bernie Petro says
I am from Burlington and knew Stan from years back. I also worked for Byrd’s foods where we sold his Pimento Cheese , received fresh produce from his little store for years. Stan was always the loudest one in his store at any time and it was all laughter all the time. I also was in contact with his daughter, Sherri for about ten years calling in orders and picing up orders. I now live in Wilmington and am so glad that my grocery store carries his great product. My only regret that you don’t sell a 2lb. container. It is the greatest pimento cheese in eastern North and South Carolina. Don’t ever stop making it.
Sure do miss you, Stan.
B.P. In Wilmington
Jane Strickland says
The lid is really impossible to open. I can’t continue to buy your pimento cheese unless you change the container so it is easier to open.
I have moved to Kentucky and can’t find Stan’s!! As I suffer withdrawal, is there any way I can purchase online and have it shipped?
Graham Wilson says
I have tried every brand of pimento cheese. None compares to Stans. Keep making as is.
Julie Story says
Stans pimento cheese is the BEST I have Ever had. Use to live in Lenoir, NC, and I always get 4 tubs to bring back home with me to Alabama when I go up there to visit. I don’t like any of the pimento cheese down here so it’s always a huge treat!! Havent been home in several years. Am truly looking forward to having some again.
Richard Ingram says
Love your product. It is my number one choice. But I hate your lid! It is too difficult to open. Could you go back to the old lid?
Graham McNeil says
Where is Stans distributed near Knoxville, TN?
Have you fixed the ‘runny’ problem? I have purchased Stans at HT in Charleston for the past 20 years. The texture changed at some point and wasn’t as good… more like dip! Hope you took action. Can’t improve on a winner – the original is best.
Penny Hollars says
Yes we have fixed it and the lid
Connie Deese says
I want to say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for making a delicious Pimento Cheese spread!! My favorite was Winn Dixie’s Palmeto Farms Pimento Cheese, I wouldnt eat ANYTHING ELSE!! But, when Winn Dixie moved out of our state, I could no longer find their Pimento Cheese in any grocery stores. I have wasted SO MUCH money over the years trying other pimento cheese spreads, and frankly, MOST of them are Terrible!!!! I was occasionally buying some called Palmeto Cheese made on the S.C. coast, but it was VERY expensive and not really not that good.
But my Sister, Bless Her, took some of your brand to the beach and I reluctantly tried it, and Voila!! It is SO GOOD!!!! It is the closest to my Winn Dixie brand that I have ever eaten, so you have a New Customer! It is reasonably priced, and I can find it in the grocery store that I always shop at.
There is one thing tho, I agree with these other people about the lid. It is flimsy and hard to open. But never fear, that’s NOT going to stop me from buying it. I LOVE it!!!
Thank You again for making such a Delicious spread and for making me One Happy Customer!!!!!!!
Judy Todd says
I love your pimento n cheese. Since the lid he changed it takes me forever to get it open. I don’t buy it as often because of the lid. Please consider changing this. Thank you.
My most favorite store bought pimento cheese EVERRRR! If I don’t make my own I buy Stans! An easy go to for a sandwich or “dip” with Fritos scoops!
Joe W. Middleton says
I see that I am not the only one unhappy with Stan’s container lids. I only buy the product when I have
kept a lid from another product that will fit. These complaints have been for several years. Is Stans’s not
aware or do they not care?
Cheryl H says
I’ve been trying different pimento cheeses (since I can’t find the brand I like anymore) and Stan’s has been the best so far. Unfortunately I cut my finger on the lid trying to get it off. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to get off but I won’t be buying another tub because of that. Looking at some of the old comments I see this has been a problem for people for years and years. You really should look into a different way of packaging it.
I am from NC, currently working in California. I googled where I can find Stan’s. It is nowhere to be found in the West. It saddens me but some things of the south, have to be obtained in the South.
Toni Duncan says
We live in GA and originally from Charlotte NC. We love Stans pimento cheese and want to love to order! No order brand compares to Stans! We miss having your pimento cheese. Is there any way we can order please? Thank you so much!
this is AWESOME, evan!!! proud to call you my friend, as always. remember when stan’s had its own little farmer’s stand on church street?!
Wanda C says
I lived in Winston Salem for years and I made trips to Burlington to get your pimento cheese. I LIVE in North Myrtle Beach now and can not find a local NC store that sells it can I order it directly from u.
I love this pimento cheese but getting the lid off and on is ridiculously difficult.
Charlie Hall says
Love your pimento cheese, but not enough to bust my fingernails getting off the lids you’re now using. I’ll make my own or buy somebody else’s until you get rid of those lids.
Melanie Prescott says
All my family used stars pimiento but the other day i bought the stans brand instead. Omg this is the best and i mean the best i have ever eaten. Don’t change a thing. Can’t wait till i can get back to the store for more. Awesome!!
Barbara Michael says
Love Stan’s but hate the lid! Have to struggle to open it and end up at times getting a bottle/can opener to try to open it! PLEASE fix it!