Church Point Oysters grow in the South Puget Sound on the north side of Hammersley Inlet roughly mid-way between Oakland Bay and the confluence of Pickering Passage and Totten Inlet. The oyster spat starts in mesh bags staked to the beach and when they get big enough the grower dumps them onto the gravelly beach where strong tidal currents tumble them to develop their shells. The nutrient rich waters promote development of the oyster's meat.
The oysters are medium small, oval with deep, dramatically fluted, greenish brown cups with purple highlights. The caps are darker than the cups and some have a dark purple stripe down the middle. The meat to shell ratio is above average with the meat filling between 85% and 90% of the cup and the liquor filling the rest. The meat is light to medium beige with purple to black gills. The meat has a firm, plump texture with a little crunch. The texture is not stringy or fibrous and has no gristle or membrane qualities. The oyster smells like a tidal pool with seaweed and a trace of anchovy. The liquor is seaweedy and brothy with moderate salinity. The meat starts salty and the first bite releases melon, cucumber, vegetable, and a trace of toast and bacon. Salinity is medium low and as the oyster settles in it gets a little sweet and buttery, hinting of Brie and suggesting a Brie salad with some seaweed, celery and a hint of anchovy and bacon.
I am drinking Shimuzu-no-mai Pure Dawn Junmai Ginjo Sake (15.5% alcohol by volume). It starts mildly sweet and lightly acidic with pear, floral and fruit notes and finishes slightly drier than the start. The Sake flavors and fruit hit the Oyster's saltiness and complete the picture of a salad adding fruit and mild acid notes and toning down the salt. The Sake accents the oyster's vegetable, cucumber, seaweed and celery notes. The Sake and the Oyster fit together like a hand in a glove. I give the pairing 83. Church Point Oysters' texture and flavor make this a go to oyster - I rate it 93.