I always wondered about this seemingly static rule:
Never add cheese (especially, but not limited to parmigiano reggiano) to a dish with fish.
Italians would never, ever add parmigiano reggiano to a pasta with fish. But they have many other fixed views on food (e.g. sweet and savoury is a no-no, which is allowed at least in Austria and Japan).
I obliged until now, but I wonder where this rule comes from. To be honest, I would never add cheese to frutti di mare, but I'm open to trying other combinations. Is there some evidence that the two ingredients don't mix well? I hear there are some exceptions: Tuna with parmigiano reggiano is okay, but I only tried that as a salad and it was good. Also, I once saw a recipe of fish with mascarpone.
Did you ever have a professional cook serving you fish with cheese?
Please, I'm not interested in your personal opinion, but I'm trying to understand the rule and the exceptions.
Status update: Thanks for the brainstorming so far. I'm collecting the intermediate results:
- Most importantly: It seems to be a regional thing (w/ Italy at its heart)
- @Walter, @TFD and @Joe all agree on tuna as the prime counter example.
- However, they disagree on the reason: We have @TFD's opinion, that tuna is strong and thus is not outplayed by strong cheese and @Walter's italo-centric opinion, that tuna is a particularly 'unfishy' fish.
- @Carmi mentions umami as one/the possible reason.
@Todd has entered the discussion and disputes the highest voted answer: The umami claim by @Carmi. I'm delighted, because I'm still cautions about umami.
If you provide further examples, please include a detailed descriptions and a reason why you think the particular combination is a "allowed".
I would be extremely interested in opinions that favour the motion/rule. Is there anybody willing to take a stance and (maybe even) explain the origin?
And what about seafood with cheese? Is it unthinkable?