Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
I’ve been known to have one of these.
You’ve got your fish filet, some tartar, and a slice of American cheese.
Do you like a good tuna melt?
I sure do. The one above has Pacific albacore, heirloom tomatoes, purple onions, celery, homemade mayonnaise, on toasted wild-yeast sourdough English muffins. Oh, and of course, cheese, the pepper-jack variety.
Next to the red cabbage dish is potato crusted cod, with shredded smoked gouda.
Do you see a trend here?
Seafood and cheese?
That would be it.
C’mon, you might be bristling at this point. Two sandwiches and a common grocery freezer section item certainly don’t constitute seafood.
Correct. They don’t.
Authentic seafood? I consulted the Fresh Fish and Shellfish portions of the menu at Milwaukee’s wonderful Harbor House restaurant on Milwaukee's fabulous lakefront and found:
Rainbow Trout Almondine - French Green Beans, Almonds, Roasted Potatoes
Whole Roasted Branzino - Roasted Potatoes, Anaheim Peppers, Anchovies, Garlic
Steamed Salmon - Olive Oil-Poached Cherry Tomatoes, Braised Chard, Roasted Potatoes, Basil Oil
Oven Baked Cod - Red Potatoes, Button Clams, Green Beans, Grilled Lemon, White Wine Broth
Grilled Hawaiian Swordfish - Roasted Potatoes, Spinach, Cherry Tomato Relish, Lemon Oil
Great Lakes Walleye - Brown Butter Polenta, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Herb Beurre Blanc
Grilled Yellowfin Tuna - Lemon-Caper Lentils, Roasted Carrots
Grouper - Pan Roasted, Caramelized Fingerling Potatoes, Fennel, Sundried Tomato Tapenade
Sea Scallops - Sweet Potato Puree, Crispy Root Vegetable Mix, Mushrooms, Red Wine Demi Glace
Cioppino - Clams, Mussels, Scallops, Shrimp, Fish, Potato, Tomato Broth
Lobster "Pot Pie" - Lobster, Potatoes, Carrots, Mushrooms, Puff Pastry
Twin Lobster Tails - Grilled South African Cold Water Tail, Potatoes, Spinach
Alaskan King Crab Legs - Buttered Red Potatoes
"Shrimp" & Grits - Madagascar Prawns, Tomato Ragout, Cajun Spices
Maine Lobster - 2 lb. Whole Steamed Lobster, Buttered Red Potatoes
Is that “seafood” enough for you, pilgrim?
And do you see a trend?
Seafood, no cheese.
Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? After all, you just mention the prospect of combining seafood with cheese to an accomplished chef or true foodie and you might get spit in the face. Espeially if said chef or foodie is Italian.
Think about it. Take shrimp scampi for example. Does the waiter or waitress return to your table offering to spread shredded cheese all over that scrumptious entrée?
Have you gone mad? Here's Chef Mark from Sava Restaurant in Amarillo, Texas.
That's one viewpoint.
Here's another from a chef who's a bit more blunt.
The fact is cheese on or with any seafood entrée is in the Culinary No-No Hall of Fame. The duo causes earthquakes, mob scenes, fistfights, and divorces. That’s not very farfetched. And I’ve never really understood the massive heartburn on this one. Especially when there are exceptions.
Namely, anchovy pizza, lobster macaroni and cheese, stuffed shrimp, and seafood alfredo.
"So where did this commandment originate? One explanation may stem from gustatory common sense: seafood tends to have a more delicate constitution, and those subtle flavors can be drowned out by a heady, assertive cheese. Since cheese is produced by fermenting milk, microbial factors such as molds, enzymes, and friendly bacteria cause drastic changes to the milk’s chemical components and their flavors often become more intense. Cheese also loses moisture as it ages, further concentrating its complex flavors and fatty texture. It’s no wonder cheese can easily overpower seafood’s understated qualities."
But Smithsonian also argues cheese and seafood is delectable.
Indeed, we could be missing out on some phenomenal new tastes by holding true to what could be a rather silly concept.
Maybe it's time to re-think one of our oldest culinary no-nos.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES
A long time ago we wrote, a few times I believe, about the morons who berate wait staff. Why are people so rude?