Can You Mix Cheese And Fish? Here's Why (And Why Not)

How many fish and cheese recipes can you think of off the top of your head? None, right? No, a Filet-O-Fish with cheese doesn't count. Who even orders those?

It's true, seafood and cheese typically don't pair together — their respective light and subtle and heavy and palate-dominating natures are best left to other devices. Much as Olive Garden would deny it, Italians don't put Parmigiano, mozzarella, or any other kind of cheese on a dish containing fish. It is absolute sacrilege. You mean there's no such thing as shrimp parm? That is what we mean.

Occasionally in French cuisine, you'll see an exception, the most famous of which is Lobster Thermidor. Dijon mustard pumps up Gruyère's sharp, nutty flavor, egg yolks enrich the whole thing beyond's basically just a lobster shell stuffed with lobster and various cheeses and fats, truly worthy of rule-breaking. But, as happens when mixing strong cheese and delicate fish, don't expect to taste much lobster. Here's the eternal silver lining: as far as cream cheese and lox are concerned, mix away! The mild cheese and smoky fish get along just great. In conclusion, don't parm your shrimp or broil cheese on your lobster if you're going for fresh seafood flavor. Italians will make fun of you.