Southern Agenda

Take it Cheesy

Just outside Raleigh, the folks in Cary love pimento cheese so much that they sculpt masterpieces with the treasured Southern spread. At the fifth annual Pimento Cheese Festival (June 10), catch past winner Hannah Acuff Skillestad creating three-dimensional works made entirely of pimento cheese—in the past she’s sculpted the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and the town square fountain, which took home the top prize in 2019. The festival began as a way to expand on the town’s popular food truck rodeos and hit a note of nostalgia, says program specialist Ryan O’Quinn. “A lot of places are starting to rediscover some of the traditions and the good things from the past they may have forgotten,” he says. “Pimento cheese falls right into that category.” Vendors serve up goodies such as fried pimento ravioli and pimento cheese and candied jalapeño ice cream.