Olympia (South Sound)

Olympia (South Sound)

Totten Inlet, Puget Sound   View on Ocean Map

The only oyster native to the west coast of North America, “Olys” never get bigger than a 50-cent piece, but have a unique flavor of smoky copper and celery salt. Grown in mesh bags as a labor of love in southern Puget Sound. Also seen wild in Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, and even San Francisco Bay.

Olympia (South Sound) (7 Ratings)

  1. Rating 3.5

    It was interesting to try this native oyster. We found the copper flavor overpowering. They are tiny with medium texture and salinity.

  2. A great oyster despite its size. It fills your mouth with flavor–somewhat metallic like a Belon, but not as intense, so it’s nice for the size. Only drawback: how little space there is for its liquor. The photo represents these South Sound Olympias well: not very colorful or patterned (what’s Lopez Island up to? where do they think Olympia is?), beat up and a little encrusted,

  3. Rating 5

    Finally was able to try these the other day. We got them in for the weekend to have a special oyster card with all five species on. Should be fun, but more to the point, these are really wonderful, delicate oysters like no others I have had. So much flavor in such a small package.

  4. Rating 4

    Pretty little oysters that taste like pennies in a stream. The copper doesn’t take over, it lets other flavor in (apparently, celery salt).

  5. Rating 4.5

    An oyster most certainly in its own class. Always coppery, almost like batteries that give you a shock on the back of your tongue (in a good way, of course). It would be great if we could start separating these out into the respective regions they’re grown in. Totten Inlet and Hammersley Inlet are what I’ve mostly seen, but there are some being grown in Carlsbad and I’ve seen from Lopez Island, too. Let’s start separating them, just like we’re starting to do with Kumis.

  6. Rating 4.5

    When in the great Pacific Northwest, these little gems make the trip worthwhile. While very small, they have strong character and wonderful taste of the sea…bracing for such a little fellow. Also a wonderful part of a memorable lunch with a dear Portland friend who grew up loving these beauties. Wish I could have them growing in Maine!

  7. Rating 5

    I don’t understand why this isn’t the most popular oyster in America. What’s not to like? Tastes like a bloody mary–celery salt, worcestershire, spice, and a touch of tomato–and goes really, really well with bloody marys. Brunch without these is, frankly, deeply disappointing.

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