British Columbia

Any contest for Most Photogenic Oyster Region would go to British Columbia in a cakewalk. Every oyster farm seems to be framed by soaring sitka spruce, palatial white peaks, and maybe the fin of an orca cutting the water surface. Most of the BC coast is fjords, cut by glaciers, which makes for a landscape that is awe-inspiring—yet homogeneous. Coastal British Columbia doesn’t have the varied geography of Washington State—no Puget Sound inlets working deep into the land, no gentle Willapa Bay mudflats—and its oysters don’t vary greatly in flavor. Most of BC’s oyster farms are clustered in the Strait of Georgia, the hundred-mile inland sea stretching north of Vancouver. Sheltered by the massive bulk of Vancouver Island, the strait offers endless calm hideaways for oysters. The landscape is wild and unpolluted, the water very cold, and the oysters clean and mild. That smoothness is what many people want in a Pacific oyster. You won’t get overwhelming or strange flavors from many BC oysters, just a little salt, a little sweetness, and, if you pay close attention, often a green apple candy note.

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