Elkhorn Oyster Flavor Profile Characteristics

Elkhorn OystersSee image licensing info

Elkhorn Oysters are a Pacific Northwest oyster from Willapa Bay which is in the Washington Coast oyster appellation. They are from a small family run business which was purchased by Steve & Andi Shotwell in 1995. They are raised by both the Intertidal Beach and the Longline method (both methods are sold as Elkhorn oysters).

They are a very rustic looking oyster, with barnacles, black & white speckled shells with shades of green. Since they spend part of every day in the open air as the tides recede, Elkhorn oysters are accustomed to fighting the tides and clamping tightly shut to preserve their “liquor” during low tides and to protect themselves against predators. They have hard, sturdy shells which shuckers like to work with. And their ability to close tightly, coupled with their hard shells, gives them a longer shelf life.


Elkhorn Oyster
Location Willapa Bay, Washington Coast
Species Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas)
Oyster Availability September – July
Size up to 3″
Oyster Cultivation Beach grown
Oyster Flavor Profile Elkhorn Oysters have firm meats with a high brininess, sweet flavor and a melon 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.


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