Northern Puget Sound

Snow Creek

Like Westcott Bay, Snow Creek uses suspended culture, because Discovery Bay is deep, with no natural beaches. Snow Creeks are grown in water ninety feet deep, and out near the mouth of Discovery Bay the bottom drops to three hundred feet. They are started in suspended trays and then transferred to bags attached to rebar racks and dropped just off the bottom, where they can fatten up and develop full flavor. They are both sweet and salty, with a distinctive Disco Bay iron tang. The delicate shells have an orange-brown tint to them and a black stripe reminiscent of Long Island’s Peconic Bay oysters (such as Widow’s Holes and Oysterponds). One is tempted to peg that iron quality on the upweller effect of the North Pacific Gyre, sweeping iron-rich bottom waters straight into Discovery Bay as it turns down the coast. Think of Snow Creeks as the Pacific analogs to those East End virginicas.

Snow Creek Seafarms also grows a Snow Creek Flat—the strongest, most terrifying oyster in Washington State. It keeps a low profile, and if you find it you are a lucky duck. Or not. I’ve seen people contort their faces upon trying one and start spitting out words like “creosote.” Or, “I feel like I just licked a piling!” I wouldn’t go that far. Broth and hazelnut and fish sauce, sure. Scared yet?

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