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Wellfleet Oysters

Wild Wellfleet Oysters jpg
Oysters courtesy of Summer Shack Oysters
See image licensing info

Wellfleet Oyster Flavor Profile Characteristics

The exceptional quality of the Wellfleet Oyster combined with its relatively limited production has made it one of the most highly sought after and renown oysters in the world.  Wellfleet Oysters are cultivated in the pristine estuaries of Wellfleet Harbor, located in Northeastern Cape Cod Bay. 

The nutrient rich coastal waters of this region are fed by currents originating in northern Maine & the Canadian Maritime Provinces.  The phytoplankton rich waters provide the Wellfleet oysters everything they need to produce a consistently exceptional oyster.  The relatively cold water helps slow the metabolism of the oyster, which causes the oyster to build reserves of glycogen which gives the oyster a sweeter flavor.  Wellfleet oysters have a relatively high salinity index of 28 parts/thousand.

They are a bottom cultured oyster and twice daily Wellfleets are exposed on the beach as the tides recede.  This results in giving their meats a firm texture, as they are accustomed to holding their shells tightly closed until the tides return.  It takes between 2-3 years to cultivate a 3” Wellfleet oyster.

Wellfleet Oyster History

In the early 1800s, Wellfleet’s native oyster population was nearly decimated due to a combination of plague and overfishing.  Aquaculture, as we know it today, began with the replenishing of Wellfleet oysters.

Wellfleet Oyster


Wellfleet Harbor, Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts


Virginica Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)

Oyster Availability

September - July


up to 3 1/2"

Oyster Cultivation

Beach/Bottom cultured

Oyster Flavor Profile

Wellfleet Oysters have plump meats with a mild, sweet flavor, high brininess and a crisp, clean finish.

See proper shellfish storage methods for the best way to maintain the shelf life and flavor of your oysters. Also, check-out our list of Where to buy Raw Oysters.

Related Links

Atlantic Oyster Varieties
Pacific Oyster Varieties

David Buchanan on Google +
If you have additional questions or information about Wellfleet Oysters add a comment!

Comments [ Have you tried this oyster? Leave a Comment! ]

DAVID BUCHANAN [ May 07, 2012 ]

Hi Callie, try Lobsters-online site: http://www.lobsters-online.com/catalog/clams.html#134

CALLIE [] [ May 07, 2012 ]

We spend time in the summers in Wellfleet and love the oysters.  For some time we were able to buy them when we were not in Wellfleet.  The supplier decided not to sell to individuals.  Does anyone know of a new source for the non-restaurant owner oyster lover remote from Wellflee?


DAVID BUCHANAN [ Sep 13, 2010 ]

Thank-you for the great comments!  I have never had opportunity to try these babies.  Wish I were at the oyster festival.

TANANTHA @ I JUST LOVE MY APRON [] [ Sep 13, 2010 ]

It's oyster festival and this sounds so delicious!


Hooray!! I spent the summers of my youth in Wellfleet, it's where my mother and grandfather lived much of their life. And oh those infamous oysters..good stuff!

MAGICOFSPICE [ Sep 10, 2010 ]

Wow, they do sound delightful :)