A breakfast of Oysters on the beach
Before They Were a High Class Staple, Oysters Were The Food
of The Poor
By Nico Danilovich
Oysters are valuable for more than just their pearls, as they provide plenty of calcium, iron, and protein delivered via their delicate, rich, and salty flavors. Oysters have an air of exclusivity despite their drab and slimy look, yet they used to be readily available and very affordable.
When the church forbade eating meat for a third of the year in the Middle Ages, eating oysters became popular in Britain because there were so many of them off the nearby coasts. Oyster consumption in Britain encouraged New York to harvest them as well, resulting in an overabundance of them that were cheap and filled with nutrients.
Unfortunately, overharvesting was restricted in the previous century, and with the introduction of ‌industrialization, the waters became polluted, wiping out oyster populations or turning them too toxic to eat. Because of the low supply and ‌consistent demand, as a result, what was formerly considered food for the poor is now seen as an upper class delicacy.