Lion of the Blogosphere

Oysters, SWPL or prole?

This important question came up in the comments.

I have to admit that I’m confused. Oysters are rarely consumed, unlike sushi which is ubiquitous.

The most famous “raw bar” is the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station. Oysters, being expensive, and found in restaurants in Manhattan, they would seem to be an upper-class thing.

But on the the other hand, there are also raw bars in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, a town which is the epitome of prole.

* * *

A food that you can only buy in Seaside Heights and isn’t available anywhere in Manhattan is the zeppole. Now that’s a delicious prole food! A while back, place called Led Zeppole opened in Manhattan and tried to ironically sell zeppoles to hipsters, but unfortunately it went out of business.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Posted in Bobos, Proles

31 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Probably mostly clams at Jersey Shore. But raw bivalve preference seems to cut across class lines in my experience.

    But if you’re eating oysters this time of year, that is definitely prole.


    June 21, 2017 at 8:49 pm

  2. Oysters are SWPL, especially at the ubiquitous $1 oyster happy hours in NYC. It is, however, déclassé to consume oysters in June or any month whose name does not contain an “R”.

    R P

    June 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    • Isn’t that whole “R” month thing a leftover relic from days when refrigeration was more challenging?


      June 21, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      • No. Restaurants and truckers cheat. When they cheat in an R month the results are different, even today.

        howitzer daniel

        June 22, 2017 at 12:46 am

  3. Are zeppoles zepproliest food?

    Panther of the Blogocube

    June 21, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    • I laughed.

      So what is a “zeppole”, anyway?

      S.J., Esquire

      June 22, 2017 at 11:55 am

  4. Meats and fish and shellfish generally have no particular class association. Their category is mostly a function of geography. In Maine, lobster is cheap and ubiquitous. In most of the rest of the country it must be specially air shipped and is expensive and high status. Same deal with areas near oyster and crabbing grounds vice far enough to require air shipping.

    Canned smoked oysters are perfectly good, though. No particular need to go spend $3 a pop for fresh ones unless you have a hankering.


    June 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm

  5. Coastal Carolina (not very SWPL) has lots of oyster bars.

    I think it may be one of those rare foods that crosses class.

    Jokah Macpherson

    June 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    • As someone from Coastal Carolina, you are correct. But the phosphates runoff from development has been a problem, many areas have been shut down for 1-2 years here and there on a rolling basis. But oysters are best when you pluck them from the mud yourself, sometimes you even eat them while you’re still in the water.


      June 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm

  6. Classic Hi-Lo brow item.


    June 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

  7. If you go here on River Street and order oysters with a beer, you are a fat prole who probably watches American Idol, if you order the low country boil and eat the crawfish along with a Bloody Mary, you are transcendent SWPL which is kind of ironic really.
    If you go to Tybee Island, you’re just a status whore

    Tiger of the Cosmos

    June 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    • So, if you order the bucket of steamed oysters at the Shell House in Pooler, what are you?

      Catamount of the Piedmontsphere

      June 22, 2017 at 7:48 pm

  8. yeah sushi went from yuppie/swpl to prole and ubiquitous in a period of aobut 10 years. i live in the proliest town in regional new south wales and there were no sushi restaurants here ten years ago. only way i could get sushi was going to sydney. now there’s like three sushi restaurants. two in malls. i like sushi but i always found it was really overpriced and unsatisfying for what you got. theres no way it can be a meal, or even a lunch, its just an expensive snack.

    james n.s.w

    June 21, 2017 at 9:35 pm

  9. You’re truly prole when you eat shrimp that you have caught yourself. But you can brag about that to any audience of whites, even the TOS that Lion talks about.


    June 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm

  10. Fried oysters are definitely prole. Steamed and especially raw oysters tilt SWPL.


    June 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    • @ Sid

      Eh, they seem prole to me, no matter how they are cooked. I’d say they get marginally classier if they’re cooked.

      Maybe they’re a little classier in places like Manhattan, but outside of urban areas like that, there are lots of oyster bars, especially near the coast. They’re frequented by low to middle class people.

      I think if a genuinely high class person eats raw oysters, it’s definitely a lark. They won’t do it often, and half the fun is pretending to be lower class than they are, like how some rich hipsters look halfway like bums.

      Also I think foreigners, including rich ones, like oysters more, on average. I’m thinking particularly the Asian ones. They eat all kind of stuff, and oysters are pretty mild to their tastes. I wouldn’t be surprised if oysters were a favorite among well-off Chinese and Koreans. Rich foreigners are usually very low class in their behavior, as LotB has pointed out previously.

      So, my verdict is low class. High class people eat them as a gag sometimes, but rich foreigners may actually like them.


      June 22, 2017 at 11:05 am

      • On a national level, I don’t see anything particularly prole about eating oysters. The only thing that seems prolish about it would be to eat them fried.

        Now, within the New York City area, eating oysters might be prole, and more genteel people avoid eating them except as a gag. I wouldn’t know since I’m not a New Yorker.


        June 22, 2017 at 3:52 pm

  11. Oysters are overpriced and taste bad which makes them an upper class food on principle. I’ve always thought of oysters as being country club Republican. Particularly Oysters Rockefeller. I don’t perceive it as a trendy/liberal swpl item.


    June 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm

  12. “A food that you can only buy in Seaside Heights…. is the zeppole.”

    You can get zeppoles at any fair on Long Island. This time of year there are fairs all over the place. You know, those Carney deals with the rickety rides and the rip-off games of “chance” (a.k.a. no chance). I’d imagine you can get them at San Genero in NYC too, in the 23 square feet of Little Italy that hasn’t been taken over by the Chinese.


    June 21, 2017 at 10:31 pm

  13. Zeppole isn’t available anywhere in Manhattan? How could that be? Don’t most pizzerias sell zeppole? I assume they do, although I rarely eat them. They are quite possibly the world’s most fatterning food – made of dough, fried, and dripping with oil. But Led Zeppole is a hilarious name for a restaurant! Why didn’t the hipsters go for it? Maybe the restaurant owner and his potential customers had a communication breakdown. Or maybe the hipsters were just dazed and confused. At any rate, wherever it’s sold, the zeppole remains the same!


    June 21, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    • i’ve never heard of a zeppola before today, but a quick google showed them available in Houston (and, of course, Manhattan).


      June 22, 2017 at 10:26 am

  14. I’m visiting out here on the west coast. Big plates of oysters as appetizers for me and my wife the last couple of nights in Seattle. Yummmmmm! Until I read your post, I never thought of class distinctions involved in oyster consumption. I grew up on the coast, where we ate oysters frequently, as many people did, but now I live in the Midwest, where fresh oysters are hard to find. Most people there don’t like them and think that we oyster-lovers are crazy. So, I think, at least in area far from the sea, eating oysters isn’t something that proles do. That’s just fine – all the more of the salty little devils for me.

    Black Death

    June 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    • @ Black Devil

      No offense intended, but eating big plates of anything is fairly prole, and maybe so is loving any food enough to give it a funny moniker… although I think SWPLs do that too sometimes.

      Oysters are mostly low class food. Maybe SWPLs like them sometimes, but I think it’d be something they do for the irony, mostly.


      June 22, 2017 at 11:32 am

  15. May be transitioning from one to the other. Obviously vegetarians/vegans can’t eat them so no longer SWPL.


    June 21, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    • The new new thing is ketogenic diet. Gotta keep up with fashion. I’m actually cook. As in use a stove and oven. Something few Americans under 40 seem to do.

      JW Bell

      June 22, 2017 at 12:44 am

  16. The class marker with raw oysters is how they’re served. Oysters on a cracker is low class and straight from the shell is high class


    June 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm

  17. OT: You often refer to the white proleness of Staten Island. That being the case, how do you explain the demographics here?

    Ripple Earthdevil

    June 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm

  18. We were as poor as it gets in the US and we ate oysters. My grandmother made oyster stew. My uncle worked shucking oysters I loved raw oysters.


    June 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm

  19. Oysters and other seafood are a function of location. Here on the South Texas coast, everyone from well off to prole will eat raw oysters. I don’t care for them myself all that much and prefer my seafood cooked. Ceveche is not a favorite for me either.


    June 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: