Wolf Beach Oysters
Wolf Beach oysters are grown in the nutrient rich southern Puget Sound in the inter-tidal zone on the west shore of Totten Inlet just north of the Little Skookum Inlet. The farm starts hatchery produced seed in mesh bags anchored to the bottom. They are transfered to the beach after a few months and finish their grow out as beach cured oysters. The area has medium tides but the narrow channels of the near by inlets promote swift currents. The bottom is a mix of sand, gravel and mud.
Wolf Beach Oysters range from 2.75" to 3.5" and are oval with deep, meat filled cups. The caps remind me of shelves of worn, shale - the kind where you can separate the layers by hand or perhaps a pocket knife, with as many as 4 layers per cap, each layer with a purple to black edge. Near the hinge the caps are dusty bone and get more purple black as they move to the lip. Small barnacles cover the caps enhancing their rugged look. The cups are fluted and have more of a polish with the seasonal growth starting sandy bone near the hinge and getting a beautiful purple color as it nears the lip. The meat is greenish beige with brown to dark brown gills.
The oysters have a forest seashore smell with some sweat, traces of pine and kelp. The liquor fills less than 10% of the cup and it is brinier than the meat. The meat has a dash of salt but way below potato chip levels and has a soft, washed rid cheese note along with fruit and vegetable and a hint of mushroom. Totten Inlet's nutrient rich waters encourage the oyster to produce glycogen giving it a sweet, almost buttery flavor. It has a slight metallic taste on the finish. The texture is OK but it is a little stringy. The awesome flavors more then make up for the texture.
I am eating the Wolf Beach Oysters with Modist Demons on the Weekend, a double dry hopped India Pale Ale with mango, tangerine, honey and milk sugar. The oyster's rich fatty flavors play of the beer's fruit flavors and dampen the bitterness slightly. The oyster's saltiness brightens the beer's fruit flavors and the beer brings out the oyster's cheese notes a little. It is a good pairing. I rate the oysters 85 and the pairing 88.