SEALED away tightly in its shell, an Olympia oyster isn't much to look at. It's small — ranging from roughly the size of a quarter to a 50-cent piece — and it's flat. If you came across it on one of the rocky beaches around here, you'd probably be more likely to try to skip it across the bay than eat it.
But pop the oyster open and slip it in your mouth. Despite its delicate size, an Olympia packs a wallop. The first thing that hits you is brine, like taking a sip of the ocean on a cold winter day. Then there is that distinctive cucumber/melon rind middle. When you bite down, the sea-slippery texture yields a surprising crunch. And then the flavor finishes with a bright, coppery aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for minutes.