Cultured Palate: Dishes from the Pacific Northwest

If you’ve ever heard people discuss the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, the first thing you’ll notice is that they talk lovingly of ingredients rather than specific dishes. That’s because the food of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and the rest of the Cascadia region is focused on fresh, seasonal ingredients from land and sea. Chefs use raw ingredients, highlighting their freshness and delicacy with as little intervention as possible. Today, we’ll take you through some ingredients that you’re likely to find as you trek through the Pacific Northwest, as well as some ideas for how and when to eat them at their freshest.

1. Oysters

Oysters are hugely popular in the Pacific Northwest, and they’ve been used in the region’s culinary traditions for over 4,000 years. Most of the cities in the Pacific Northwest are relatively proximate to the ocean, meaning they enjoy incredibly fresh seafood. Five species of oysters are native to the region, and the commercial growers are supported by a government passionate about keeping the local environment regulated and clean so it continues to be sustainable. Give the region’s oysters a try by visiting a dedicated oyster bar, where you’ll be able to sample tons of local varieties.

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