Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF CHEESE ETIQUETTE?
Thou shalt not serve cheese straight out of the fridge! This applies to Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese as well. It really is better after sitting out for 30-45 minutes. All cheeses should be served at room temperature. Flavors are perceived better at temperatures nearing our own body temperature and as cheese softens, its fat-soluble flavor compounds get better access to our taste buds.
Why did you name your product Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese?
Proper Pepper is the name because I believe I know the proper way to make a batch of pimento cheese. My target market is people who appreciate a more proper lifestyle. Being southern is being proper. And frankly, I like the sound of the alliteration, Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese.
What makes Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese different and better?
First of all, Proper Pepper is crafted in Georgia, the founder of pimentos in America! So Georgians know a thing or two about pimento cheese. Proper Pepper uses “grated” cheese from a fresh block, not pre-packaged grated cheese and white cheddar, not the cheddar with orange coloring agents. I prefer Duke’s Mayonnaise (which has no sugar) with all of my cooking. Proper Pepper’s unique ingredient is cottage cheese. Roasted red peppers are much tastier than pimentos. And the spices are a secret. So, mix all of those flavors together, and there’s no surprise that Proper Pepper was a 2015 Flavor of Georgia winner!
What is the difference in orange cheddar and Proper Pepper’s white cheddar?
All cheese is naturally white, or off white, or even a golden yellow, depending on the type of milk used. But you'll never find a cow that gives orange milk. The color instead comes from the flavorless Annatto seed, which gives cheddar that pumpkin orange hue.
What does naturally aged cheese mean?
Aged cheese is like wine. The older it is the better! The Cabot cheese used in Proper Pepper is tended to by cheese masters who nurture the cheese through a natural aging process from 9 to 12 months. This means it doesn’t receive any preservatives or additives to speed up the aging process.
Which flavor is most popular?
Interestingly, 51% of Proper Pepper sales are the Classic and 49% are the Get Back Jack. Some customers are afraid of anything “jalapeno”, but after they taste the spiciness of Get Back Jack and realize it’s not hand-fanning hot, they love it as much as the Classic.
Why did you choose to use Cabot? Isn’t it expensive?
Cabot brands itself as the world’s best cheddar. Since 1919, Cabot has won every major award for quality and taste using pure, rich ingredients, traditional craftsmanship, and a tireless commitment to quality. Since this is Proper Pepper’s flagship ingredient, why wouldn’t I use the best cheese in our country if I’m making pimento cheese the proper way?
Why is grated cheese better than pre-grated cheese?
No brainer…it’s fresher, not dry, and free of anti-caking agents and added preservatives.
What do small-batch and crafted mean?
To me, it means I am free to be really picky about using more refined ingredients than other brands. It means each batch is under the expert attention of a dedicated batch maker. It means I’m making smaller amounts, multiple times a week thus sometimes a limited supply. It means I’m making quality, not quantity, and it’s a difference you can taste. It means you, the consumer, have the opportunity to know the batch maker and have a personal relationship with her and the Proper Pepper brand. Handcrafted foods have become a cultural phenomenon as consumers share a value with the makers of the food, but it’s a continual delicate dance between staying true to one’s values while adapting to new economies of scale.
what did the 2015 Flavor of Georgia contest mean for the Proper Pepper brand?
It meant that 13 judges from Georgia’s food industries chose Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese to be the absolute best product in the dairy category of all the other Georgia products entering the contest in 2015! This notoriety and affirmation of a quality product was the catalyst for marketing Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. The Flavor of Georgia contest showcases delicious, innovative market-ready prototypes or commercially available food products. Each is judged on flavor, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and potential market volume. The Flavor of Georgia contest is hosted and organized annually by the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development with the support of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Center for Innovation for Agribusiness, Walton EMC and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. Check out the other winners.
How did you develop the packaging for Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese?
I love beautiful labels that are fresh, clean, easy to read and free of a lot of marketing clutter. Specialty food and small batch labels are a breed of their own. I developed a Pinterest board of labels that appealed to me and took them to our designer to transfer my ideas into my own product. Much decision making went into the square container, the fresh vintage colors and most importantly, the crown at the top that represents my being a daughter of the King!
What is Georgia Grown and are you a member?
Yes, Proper Pepper is a member of the Georgia Grown family! Georgia Grown is a marketing and economic development program of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Its mission is to aid agricultural economies by bringing together producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers into one powerful statewide community. Georgia Grown is a brand with deep roots in sustainability, quality and integrity. It’s the seal on Georgia products that promotes Georgia’s locally grown products. For more information, click here.
Is Proper Pepper made at the batch maker’s home?
No, that would not be safe and furthermore, there’s not enough room in my kitchen to pump out the gallons of Proper Pepper that are ordered on a weekly basis! Proper Pepper is manufactured in a certified kitchen that is approved by the State Department of Agriculture.
How did Georgia become the pimento capital of the world in the 1930s?
Until 1908, the United States got its pimentos in cans from Spain. A few years later, an innovative farmer at Experiment Station in Griffin, GA, cultivated a pepper named Truhart Perfection and by the 1930s, Georgia was known as the pimento capital of the world. This special pimento was picked up quickly by Pamona Foods, a large cannery, and was later bought by Moody Dunbar, the nation’s largest canner of pimentos.
Why do you refer to pimento cheese being served on a paper plate or being a proper society staple?
Eugenia Duke, the founder of Duke’s Mayonnaise, sold pimento cheese sandwiches in textile mills at the same time she was serving it at a tea room in a nice hotel. This southern staple has an emotional attachment by all demographics in the south and is completely appropriate to be served on a paper plate or a sterling platter.