Stinky, Stinky: Lilliwaup, and the freshest oysters anywhere

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part II

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Oysters served up steaming fresh at Hama Hama Seafood Co., a private oyster and clam farm in Lilliwaup, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

If you’re a true oyster aficionado, make plans to visit the Hama Hama Seafood Company in Lilliwaup, WA on the tide flats of Hood Canal just south of the Hamma Hamma River and Bridge on Hwy 101.

Yes, they’re spelled differently on purpose, according to an HH staff member. The river and bridge names allegedly mean “stinky, stinky,” supposedly derived from the language of the Twana tribes, referring to the smell of salmon that run the river to spawn and die.

There’s no such smell at Hama Hama. It’s a fifth-generation family-run oyster and clam farm that grows the crustaceans in the tide flats of the river. They raise beach-grown Hama Hama and tumble-grown Blue Pool oysters, and take care of the watershed by stewarding a forest upstream and using natural shellfish-growing methods without any artificial anything.

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At the HH Oyster Saloon, which looks out over the tide flats, I ordered the grilled dozen-oyster sampler. The fresh little boogers are served in three different butter sauce combinations (I eschewed the spicy one). Lana can’t stand looking at the snot-like seafood, but I love ‘em. They’re also offered on the half shell raw, or you can get steamed clams in white wine, crab cakes and smoked salmon chowder. For those who don’t like seafood (blasphemy!) you can settle for a grilled cheese sammy.

Next time: Beaches and tide pools on the Olympic Peninsula.

At right, barnacles glom onto rocks jutting out into the ocean at low tide. Beach 4, in the Kalaloch area, is said to have one of the best tide pool viewing areas in the world.

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