What’s the deal with seafood and cheese?

Just what is the rule about this?

I recently witnessed vigorous head shaking and finger waggling by would-be chefs at those who dare to combine cheese with seafood dishes. Especially if that cheese happened to be parmesan.

Ordinarily, I would agree that cheese + seafood = an unequivocal no-no.

If it’s with pasta, however, my feeling is that the pasta wins. I, personally, do not think that a delicate spaghetti marinara or a creamy fettucini con gamberi is complete without generous shavings of parmesan or pecorino.

yummy spaghetti marinara, as made by Aaron a few weeks ago

Am I being sacrilegious or uncouth by admitting to this? What are your thoughts?


30 May 2009 addendum: I stumbled onto the link to “Senza Formaggio” today. An interesting article with a delicious-looking recipe for pasta con le sarde.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. jbaby77 says:

    Yes I too saw the incident where fish was served with goat’s cheese and the idea of it turned my stomach! I think goats cheese is such a strong flavour it was definitely a mistake in that case. However, as to whether cheese is *always* wrong with seafood….. well dish above looks relatively well suited to inclusion of a hard cheese as you have mentioned, so it doesn’t have to be wrong if you enjoy it. Its not something I would necessarily choose though, but I am a relative new comer to seafood and am not able to tolerate “out of the ordinary” tastes (or textures for that matter) just at the moment.

  2. Hannah says:

    Thanks for your comments, jbaby77. I completely agree with you re the use of hard cheese. Just last night, I ate oysters grilled with parmesan (and other toppings) at Veritas. They were delicious!

    Good luck with your foray into seafood. I am just about to feast on some coral trout – cooked without cheese.

    H 🙂

  3. Hannah says:

    That does look pretty good! Thanks for sharing, datafeast.

    H 🙂

  4. darya says:

    OMG, I’ve been thinking about this so much! I came to the exact same conclusion as you, which is that pasta is involved anything is possible. Especailly Italian cheese. Mmmmm….

  5. Hannah says:

    Thanks for the validation, Darya! H 🙂

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