Beautiful Bivalves

oyster rama

Last Saturday I braved 20-mph winds to gorge myself on oysters at Hama Hama’s Oyster Rama, an annual festival dedicated to the bivalve. (There were also clams to be dug, if you so desired).

Hama Hama’s farm sits on the Hood Canal, a 65-mile long fjord separating the Olympic Peninsula from the Kitsap Peninsula. I’d only crossed over the canal when going to coast or to Olympic National Park, so it was a good excuse to check out the fishing villages on the canal itself. And to eat a whole bunch of oysters.

The festival included a u-pick opportunity, where you pay $5 to hand select a dozen oysters, right off the flats. The oysters sat in clusters or singles in what seemed like several miles of beach, and volunteers were on hand to help the uninitiated (including me) figure out what was good for eating. The flats themselves were a fascinating habitat of hermit crabs, shellfish, minnows, and even a sea cucumber. It was so windy I lost my balance several times, but it was worth it. Not only did I leave with a bucket of oysters and a belly full of good eats, I also learned how to shuck. I hope to be back next year!