Some 2,850 miles from the Yakima Valley sits the small town of Pawleys Island, S.C. For anyone who has visited this southern neighbor to Myrtle Beach, it’s a slow-paced place, with lazy roads snaking alongside beautifully laced beaches of white splendor. The scenery is steeped with the antiquity that the island has to offer, with culture as old as the United States itself, having even been toured by George Washington.
It’s a beautiful place to visit — and I highly recommend you go to South Carolina if you can.
But, failing that, you could always purchase one of its staple foods: Palmetto Cheese.
Palmetto Cheese is a Southern cheese spread that contains mayonnaise, sharp cheddar cheese and pimento peppers. It’s a delicious piece of Southern cuisine that can go on crackers, burgers, hot dogs and just about anything else.
Palmetto Cheese is produced by Pawleys Island Special Foods. Having been a resident of South Carolina for six years, it is one of the integral ingredients needed to create a culinarily educated Southerner. The taste is a smooth, creamy flavor with hints of pimento inside. The product’s spreadability allows the fortunate user to find a way to indulge it in every meal of the day, and the brand even comes with a jalapeño variant that adds a spicy kick that balances the mellow cheese.
When I ate Palmetto Cheese in Myrtle Beach, it actually infused me with an ancient Southern power that I wasn’t aware of: It gave me the ability to say “y’all” in a perfect Southern drawl and shake my fist at the Yankees that flood the area in the summer and grind traffic to a halt.
To say I enjoyed Palmetto Cheese would be a disservice to its taste. In my fact-based opinion, it can only be compared to ambrosia.
But this is where things get complicated. When I moved to Yakima, I was cut off from my cheese supply, and immediately noticed my appreciation for life had declined. The closest outlet may be some stores in western Kansas. Sure, we have some pureed yellow spread that you people saw fit to label as pimento cheese and stock Walmart shelves with. But, to put it politely, I disagree.
Now, I know I may have driven some of you to despair with the knowledge that you may never get to indulge in the taste of Palmetto Cheese, but consider me the Prometheus of cheese spreads, writing to tell you this super-duper secret way to purchase this cheese anywhere:
You can visit www.goldbelly.com/palmetto-cheese to purchase and ship Palmetto Cheese anywhere in the United States. But here’s the thing: It’s expensive — as in $60 for a four-pack.
I understand if nobody wants to buy a product based on the deranged review of a raving Southerner, so here’s the alternative. Help me get Palmetto Cheese onto store shelves in Yakima! Visit www.pimentocheese.com/got-soul to find out how to ask local grocery stores to stock Palmetto Cheese and give us all one of the best dishes South Carolina has to offer.
Just do it soon, because my supply is running out. And If I run out, I’m not sure how I can fill the hole in my heart with anything else.
• Ries Parnell is a senior at West Valley High School.