British Columbia

Imperial Eagle Channel

Imperial Eagles

At East Coast oyster bars the Imperial Eagle Channel is sometimes listed as a Washington oyster, possibly because of confusion with Eagle Rock, a Puget Sound oyster. But the Imperial Eagle is pure BC—West Vancouver Island, in fact, one of only a few from that far-flung coast (Nootka Sound is another). Imperial Eagle Channel is part of Barkley Sound in Pacific Rim National Park—“pristine” hardly does it justice. The bag-to-beach oysters have unusual shells, thin and narrow but extremely deep-cupped, like the bucket of an excavator (with the frills serving as the teeth), with otherworldly pink, purple, and orange swirls. The taste is strong on salt (pure ocean water comes right through the channel) but light on follow-through.

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