Climate change may bring this tiny unsung oyster back to plates

Pacific oysters are sort of the jocks of the oyster world: they're big, robust, loved by all. On the other end of the spectrum are Olympia oysters: small, slow to mature, their unique qualities appreciated by a loyal few (who affectionately call them "olys").

While Pacifics are the signature oyster of the West Coast, grown in the tens of millions, Olympias are only grown in small numbers by select farms and rarely represented on restaurant menus. What most people don't know is that the Olympia is the only native West Coast oyster. The Pacific oyster is actually a relative newcomer, originally from Japan.

For the last hundred years, the Olympia has been overshadowed by its more popular cousin. However, a recent study from Oregon State University has found that in one significant respect, the Olympia tops the Pacific--and it could have big implications for the future of oyster cultivation and consumption. Read more...