Shigoku

Grown in: Willapa Bay, Washington
Taste: "A clean yet meaty taste," Daffin says, "with a cucumber-melon finish."
Why they're special: These Japanese imports are grown in floating bags rolled by the tides, which constantly chips the shells' growing edge like a rock tumbler. It may sound gimmicky, but it grows a deeper cup — "a plump, hearty oyster," says Daffin, "with a strong adductor muscle to hold in its light brine liquor."
Order from: When Shigoku are harvested, Taylor Shellfish Farms sells out before it can even list them online, but it will take phone orders when they're available [$50 for 60; 360-432-3300]