British Columbia

Nootka Sound

The finest of BC oysters, grown in the remote, oceanside fjords of West Vancouver Island, where the wolves and sea lions and passing gray whales rarely see a person. No roads run to Nootka Sound; only a few intrepid kayakers manage to explore it. What they find is a paradise of lush coastal rainforest, sandy beaches, and incredibly diverse life, both in and out of the water. Nootkas are advertised as intertidal beach oysters, but the shells have all the markings of suspension culture: a pulled teardrop shape, and fluted, striped shells that look as though a watercolor artist streaked them in purple and dusty rose. Nootkas have very white meats and very black mantles. Their flavor takes you on a roller coaster, with brine up front, then the nutty sweetness of nori, and finally a finish hinting at anise.

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