Totten Virginica Oyster Flavor Profile

Totten Virginica OystersSee image licensing info

Totten Virginica Oysters are raised in the same area as the Totten Inlet Oysters but they are two different species and have different flavor profiles. There are over 60 varieties of oyster marketed in the Pacific Northwest, but Totten Virginicas are are the only Virginica species (that I am aware of) which is grown on the West Coast.

Totten Virginica Oysters are cultivated by Taylor Shellfish Farms who describe them as having “an attractive pear shape with a somewhat flat top shell and slightly concave bottom shell. The edge is smoother than, and lacks the sharp flutes of, the Pacific and Kumamoto. The meat color is a beige-cream with a thin slightly black or brown trimmed mantle.”

Taylor Shellfish goes on to say, “The “Totten Inlet Virginica” is the first Eastern oyster grown commercially in Washington since 1900-1920 when a large quantity were grown in Willapa Bay for the oyster-hungry San Francisco market. Served at prestigious houses such as the Hotel St. Francis, Washington grown virginicas were recognized for their superior flavor. Willapa growers lost interest in the slow growing Eastern in the 1930s when fast growing


Totten Virginica Oyster
Location Totten Inlet, South Puget Sound, WA
Species Virginica Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
Oyster Availability September – July
Size up to 3″
Oyster Cultivation Intertidal beach grown
Oyster Flavor Profile Totten Virginica Oysters have a springy texture with a sweet, briny, clean flavor and a mineral finish.
Map See Totten Virginica Oyster Map

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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