Southern Discomfort: Is This Year’s Masters Ruined by Subpar Pimento Cheese?

Nobody can, um, master the recipe. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A good sandwich is hard to find, especially at this year's Masters tournament. The Augusta National Golf Club's signature pimento-cheese sandwich, a staple for the tournament, has been forever altered, tainted by outside consultants and an owner with no respect for tradition. This year's pimento cheese is too mayo-ridden, too soggy, too gloopy, too spicy — or so says the guy whose company used to make the sandwiches for the tournament.

As ESPN tells it, the WifeSaver fried-chicken chain previously had the responsibility of making both fried-chicken sandwiches and pimento-cheese sandwiches for the tournament. When the chain got the gig for the cheese sandwiches about a decade ago, the chain's owner, Ted Godfrey, had to reverse-engineer the classic southern recipe the tournament's previous sandwich-maker had been using. Anyway, Godfrey says after lots of trial and error, he happened upon a necessary secret ingredient. Godfrey tells ESPN the tournament's tasters knew immediately.

But now Godfrey doesn't have the contract to make sandwiches, since the golf club moved to handle its concessions in house. Godfrey won't reveal the secret ingredient, and the new recipe evidently tastes strange, despite the army of top chefs attempting to re-engineer the fabled sandwich.

Augusta National has begged Godfrey to release his recipe, but he won't oblige. However, he does keep precious, plastic containers of the pimento cheese buried deep within his restaurant's fridge, hoarding it like a jilted lover — just waiting for Augusta to pay him what he deserves for his treasured recipe.

A sandwich stumper at the Masters [ESPN]