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 = 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

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.



  1. 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. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. 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….


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