Pacifc Northwest oysters are mild and sweet, with a briny flavor and crisp texture. As with all oyster species, flavor depends on the waters in which it is grown. The deeply cupped, elongated shell is curly, thick and silvery gray to gold. Meat is cramy white, sometimes with a dark fringe around the mantle. Shell and meat colors vary by region and season.
Oyster meats should be plump and juicy. Dramatic meat discoloration suggest poor quality, but slight shades of pink, green or black may reflect diet and regional conditions. The Washington bays, where most of our oysters come from, have the great fortune of having tremendously shallow, warm waters, conditions ideally suited to oyster culture. How do you know if an oyster’s alive? Just tap on the shell to see if it closes. Or sniff: A dead oyster smells like sulfur.
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